The eerie beauty of the intricate sounds that are produced by a humpback whale’s song never fails to fascinate and enthrall me whenever I hear it. There is no shadow of a doubt that whales are very intelligent animals that engage in consistent interaction with one another.
- In this piece, I’ll go deeply into the biological underpinnings of whale communication and how it works.
- The majority of whale communication takes place through the use of nuanced noises like as clicks, chirps, whistles, and complicated songs.
- Whales lack the vocal chords necessary to produce sound.
- They generate sound by exerting pressure on air as it passes through the larynx or by using intricate systems that consist of air sacs and specialized soft tissues.
It’s possible for whales to make sounds by slapping different portions of their bodies, including their flukes and tails, against the surface of the water. There is sufficient evidence to support the hypothesis that whales and dolphins are able to recognize one another based on the noises that they create.
The term “cetaceans” refers to a group that include around 90 different types of whales, dolphins, and porpoises. We humans are limited in the frequency range that we are able to perceive and produce sound as comparison to cetaceans. Clicks produced by dolphins, for instance, may reach frequencies as high as 110 kilohertz.
In comparison, the average human being is unable to detect noises that are higher than 20 kilohertz. The songs that humpback whales emit can linger for a number of hours. Both blue whales and fin whales make low-frequency noises that have the ability to reach more than 2,000 miles (3,200 kilometers).
- 1 How do scientists record whale sounds?
- 2 Can we hear whale voice?
- 3 Is whale sound real?
How do you type a whale sound?
Water Noises Writing the word “phwargh” is perhaps the most accurate way to recreate the sound of a whale. Could you give anything else a go instead?
How do scientists record whale sounds?
Hydrophones are able to record the sounds of whales that are made when they are underwater. Scientists are able to detect where whales are located, how many there are, where they are heading, how deep they are diving, and much more by using hydrophones. However, scientists require precise sound receivers in order to do their work. The human ear serves as the body’s primary sound receptor.
Can we hear whale voice?
The Song of the Humpback Whale
Whale researchers focus a significant portion of their attention on the field of acoustics. The song of the humpback whale is very possibly the most intricate in all of the animal kingdom. Researchers listen to and analyze their songs in order to glean information that is useful in a wide variety of subfields of marine science and technology.
The song of the humpback, which is comprised of recurring themes, may last for up to half an hour, and some humpbacks are capable of singing for many hours at a time. Only male humpback whales are capable of singing, and all of the males in a given location sing the same song. The composition of the song evolves throughout time, such that it sounds different from one year to the next.
The fact that the songs are almost always heard during the breeding season provides strong evidence that they are connected to the process of reproduction. But scientists are still trying to figure out why male humpback whales sing. Hearing of the Whale Humpback whales have excellent hearing in addition to their ability to sing.
The ability to hear is of critical significance to marine creatures that live in the water (a very noisy place). Hearing is a sense that is highly developed in all cetaceans. This is mostly because to the sensitive receiving of watery vibrations through bones in the cranium, which all cetaceans possess.
When compared to the rest of the whale’s bones, the head of the whale is rather small. It is important to note that the head can take up as much as one third of the overall length of the body. The whale ear is a small hole that shuts off when the whale is submerged in water.
- It is possible to hear better underwater because the bone structure of the middle and inner ears of marine mammals is different from that of terrestrial (land-based) mammals.
- Let’s Break Down the Song Together Moans, grunts, blasts, and shrieks are some of the sounds that humpback whales make.
- Sound waves are the building blocks of each segment of their music.
There are some sound waves here that have a high frequency. If you were able to see these noises, they would appear to be pointy mountains that are very tall. Sound waves with low frequencies can also be produced by whales. These waves are similar to hills that are quite far apart from one another.
- These sound waves are able to travel an extremely long distance over water without suffering any loss of energy.
- The researchers estimate that some of these low frequency noises are capable of traveling more than 20,000 kilometers in certain depths of the ocean.
- Hertz are the units that are used to measure the frequency of sound.
From 30 Hertz (Hz) up to about 8,000 Hz, whales use a wide spectrum of frequencies to communicate with one another (8 kHZ). Only a small portion of the whales’ songs are audible to humans. The frequencies that are lowest on the whale’s spectrum are not audible to us.
Low frequency noises, beginning at roughly 100 hertz, are audible to humans. The Songs of Whales Are Comparable to Those of Other Animals Researchers have noticed that whale songs sound remarkably similar to the songs of hoofed animals, such as elk (bugleing) and cattle (mooing). Whale songs also have more than a passing resemblance to some of the noises that elephants make.
Katy Payne, a prominent researcher who specializes in the study of humpback whale calls, is also an expert in elephant calls, and she has discovered some striking parallels between the calls of these two species. Where are the Sources of the Sounds? It was previously believed that the larynx was the location where sound was produced in cetaceans; however, research on live dolphins that were able to vocalize revealed that the larynx did not move when the animals are making sounds.
Instead, sound is created by structures in the nasal system, such as the nasal plug and the complicated nasal sac system, both of which move when sound is made. However, the precise location of where sound is generated is still a topic of controversy. The authors Reynolds and Rommel have written a book titled BIOLOGY OF MARINE MAMMALS, in which you may learn more about this intriguing topic.
You should give your own listening a shot.
|Humpback Song A||Humpback Song B||Humpback Song C|
Try This! Pay attention to the songs of the humpback whales. Are you able to distinguish between the higher frequency sections of the songs (those that are short and high pitched) and the lower frequency parts of the songs? What terms would you use to characterize the songs that are being played? In what ways are you brought back in time by the songs? In what ways are the three songs the same and what ways do they differ from one another? The low-frequency noises produced by whales may travel up to 20,000 kilometers.
What frequency are whale songs?
Vocalizations made by humpback whales, such as the intricate and diverse “whale song” produced by males, often have a frequency range in the audible spectrum that falls between 80 and 4,000 hertz (Hz).
Do whales have a language?
“They sound like Morse code,” said the second marine scientist who was involved in the initiative, which began with the straightforward premise that major breakthroughs are frequently achieved when leading specialists from a variety of quickly developing fields work together.
Although David Gruber is also a National Geographic Explorer, the limits of what traditionally constitutes his interests have been blurred for a long time. The City University of New York biology and environmental science professor has conducted research on coral reefs by utilizing submarines. In addition to this, he has found a biofluorescent sea turtle in the Solomon Islands, discovered that schools of flashlight fish use their glowing light to coordinate movements, researched the molecules that cause catsharks and some eels to appear to glow, and constructed a camera that simulates the perspective of a shark.
Once, he collaborated with a roboticist on the creation of a delicate device with six tentacles that enables researchers to take up jellyfish without causing any harm to the animals. After reading a book on free divers who research sperm whales in 2017, Gruber, who is a diver, became captivated with sperm whales, which are the biggest toothed whales.
- This happened when Gruber was a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute at Harvard University.
- One day, when he was sitting at his laptop listening to whale codas, another Radcliffe guy named Shafi Goldwasser happened to walk by.
- Gruber recalls Goldwasser stating, “Those are pretty interesting—they sound like Morse code,” in reference to the signals.
Machine learning is an area of artificial intelligence that utilizes algorithms to detect and predict patterns in data. She had been presenting lectures on the topic for a group of Radcliffe Fellows, who were interested in the topic. Machine learning is used in virtually every industry today, from search engines to household robot vacuums like Roomba to autonomous automobiles.
- She strongly suggested to Gruber that she should discuss the clicks with the Radcliffe group.
- There were several really bright computer brains within that group of people.
- Goldwasser is both a computer scientist and widely regarded as one of the most knowledgeable encryption specialists in the world.
- In his role as head of machine learning at Imperial College London, Michael Bronstein founded a machine learning startup, which he subsequently sold to Twitter in order to combat the spread of fake news.
The presentation that Gruber gave piqued the interest of the attendees. Is it possible that machine learning may assist humans in comprehending animal communication? Gruber saw a potential profit. He had spent his whole varied career attempting to convince others of the enchantment of the waters by centering his attention on things that he thought extraordinary, such as corals, biofluorescence, and jellyfish.
He had been unsuccessful. It’s possible that this was the initiative that might rekindle the public’s interest in the sea’s mystique and awe and get people excited about the prospect of exploring it. “I’d got this concept that if I could get people to fall in love with jellyfish, they could fall in love with anything,” says Gruber.
“If I could get them to fall in love with jellyfish, they could fall in love with anything.” However, there is something about whales that truly piques people’s interest in learning more about them. Gruber needed to have a conversation with somebody who had knowledge about whales.
- Therefore, he searched for Gero, the creator of the Dominica Sperm Whale Project, an organization that studies the dynamics of whale families, and emailed him.
- Gero gave his word that he would listen to Gruber out.
- Linguists argue that even the most intelligent non-human animals do not have a communication system that can be considered language, and this is true even if the creatures are highly evolved.
But what if whales turned out to be an exception? Gero’s research demonstrates that sperm whales also conduct complicated social lives, which may have been one of the factors that contributed to the evolution of human language. (If you want to learn more about whale culture, go here.) The brains of sperm whales are the largest in the animal kingdom, with a volume that is six times greater than our own.
- They live in social networks that are dominated by women and engage in a form of staccato duet in which they trade codas, particularly when they are close to the surface.
- They organize themselves into clans consisting of hundreds or thousands of members, and each clan has its own unique set of click codas.
Clans, in a way, speak a variety of distinct dialects. The whales are also able to recognize one another by distinctive click patterns, which appear to function in much the same way as names. They begin by babbling clicks as youngsters until they take up their family’s repertoire, which is similar to how humans acquire language.
- This is how they learn their codas.
- Gero has recognized hundreds of members of two major clans that reside off the coast of Dominica during the course of his career.
- Because their flukes bear distinctive patterns, he is able to identify many of them simply by looking at them.
- He was able to identify grandparents, aunts, brothers, and sisters by doing DNA analysis on samples taken from whale feces and whale skin.
In addition to this, he has meticulous records, such as hundreds of recordings of clicks that have been meticulously annotated with information describing who was speaking, whose clan they belonged to, who they were with, and what they were doing at the time.
That was an excessive amount of preparation for an exam. Gruber’s colleagues in the field of machine learning used artificial intelligence techniques applied to part of Gero’s recordings to teach a computer to recognize specific sperm whales based on their calls. Over ninety-four percent of the time, the computer got its predictions correct.
Gruber, who was enthusiastic by the promising results, assembled a team of workers to investigate further. In addition to Gero and Gruber’s computer colleagues from Radcliffe, there is also whale biologist Roger Payne, a recipient of the MacArthur Award.
- Payne is credited with popularizing the hypnotic songs of humpbacks during the 1960s and 1970s, which contributed to the beginning of the “Save the Whales” movement.
- Robert Wood, a roboticist at Harvard, is responsible for the construction of the jellyfish handler along with Gruber.
- In Wood’s group, researchers have developed self-folding origami and a flying drone that is the size of an insect.
In addition, there is Daniela Rus, who is the director of computer science and artificial intelligence at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She is also a recipient of the MacArthur Fellowship. They came to the conclusion that, for the first time ever, humans might now have the skills to begin to grasp what creatures are saying, even those who live primarily in the dark and hunt squid one thousand feet below the surface of the ocean.
- It’s possible that the fact that these creatures nearly entirely rely on auditory input will make the task easier to complete.
- The crew met at a restaurant just a few blocks away from Harvard Yard to brainstorm ideas for a new Apollo program, one that would concentrate on interpreting the speech of deep-sea extraterrestrials.
Someone even proposed at one time that their work, in the event that it was successful, may give a foundation for communicating with alien species. “I kept glancing around in anticipation of someone laughing, but all I saw was a bunch of heads nodding,” Gruber explains.
Can you hear whale song above water?
Surface Behaviour Even if you are probably not familiar with the noises generated underwater by humpback whales, the sounds that you are able to hear are the ones that are created by surface behavior. They are extremely active animals, and some of the surface behaviors they exhibit include lobtailing, breaching, and fin slapping.
- If you are unfamiliar with the phrase “breaching,” it refers to the behavior of whales in which they leap out of the water at a great height and then smack the surface of the water with their tails as they descend.
- This produces a sound that may be heard both above and below the water’s surface.
- The behavior known as “lobtailing” is performed by humpback whales, in which the whales raise their tails out of the water, rotate them, and then slap them on the water’s surface.
This is an activity that also results in the production of a sound that can once again be heard both above and below the surface of the water. It is very evident that these noises indeed represent something significant to the whales, despite the fact that study is currently being conducted to better understand the rationale for the surface behavior sounds.
How far do whale sounds travel?
July 13, 2018 Their multi-toned groans are said to travel for hundreds of kilometres beneath the deep blue waves of the ocean. Their music is a series of piercing howls, low moans, and cries that are woven together in a manner that is both intricate and beautiful.
- It has the potential to leave us speechless.
- This is the song of the humpback whale, a mystical and eerie sound that never fails to stab listeners in the chest as they gaze in awe at the beasts that live beneath the ocean.
- The humpback whale is one of the largest mammals on the world; to give you an idea of its size, it is roughly the same length as a school bus.
They were formerly persecuted to the point that they were almost extinct; however, their population has partly rebounded, and their species was only just removed from the list of Endangered Species. (They are currently regarded to be a Threatened species in places that are located in the Western North Pacific and Central America.) Scientists are continuing their research on humpback whales in the hopes that one day they may be able to decode the intricate melodies that humpback whales sing in order to communicate with one another, attract a partner, or even just to express themselves.
The Many Forms That Music And Sound Can Take Humans hear a sequence of groans, screams, and howls while listening to the songs of humpback whales, but these songs are not the only vocalizations that these whales produce. Humpback whale songs are made up of a variety of various sounds. In addition, they interact with one another and hunt using a variety of social noises including as grunts, moans, snorts, and barks.
Although both male and female humpback whales are capable of vocalization, only the males produce the lengthy and loud series of noises that is commonly referred to as the whale song. In spite of the fact that they lack vocal chords, humpback whales are capable of singing nonstop for more than twenty-four hours.
These whales produce sounds by channeling air through their nasal canals. Songs are different for each whale population; for example, humpback whales that reside in the North Atlantic sing one song, whereas humpback whales that dwell in the North Pacific sing a song that is completely unique to them, almost like a regional dialect.
The songs tell a story that develops over time; they typically run between ten and twenty minutes, are never ending loops that change very gradually over the course of several years, and never appear to repeat themselves. The members of a particular group always make modifications to the theme at the same time, and it is one of the greatest mysteries in the animal kingdom how they are able to accomplish this.
- A Music That Moves Around The song of the humpback whale is by far the longest and most diverse one that researchers have yet to uncover among all of the animals that inhabit the earth.
- The range that the song of the humpback whale may cover is one of the most fascinating aspects of this animal’s singing.
According to the estimates of many researchers, some of the sounds with the lowest frequencies can travel over the water for up to 10,000 miles without suffering any significant loss of energy. The majority of the whales’ songs employ frequencies that range from 30 Hertz (Hz) to 8,000 Hz (8 kHz), with the majority falling somewhere in the middle.
During their time on one of our whale watching trips, guests will get the option to use an on-board microphone to listen to a variety of underwater sounds, including the clicks and whistles of dolphins as well as the well-known song of humpback whales. The absolute lowest of the frequencies employed in whale singing, those below 100 Hz, are unfortunately out of human hearing range.
This is unfortunate for us humans. Theories Regarding the Melody of the Whale Scientists and animal researchers have been researching the songs of humpback whales for many years, but they are still unsure of the actual purpose of the songs, despite the fact that there are many plausible ideas on the purpose of the songs.
- During feeding, dolphins are known to employ vocalizations to herd fish into their bubble nets, and it’s considered that humpbacks may participate in activities that are comparable to this when they sing.
- Some people have theorized that the song may have an echolocative purpose.
- The most convincing evidence suggests, however, that the singing serves a sexual function.
The breeding season is the time of year when singing is at its most widespread, and throughout this time, the songs are constantly evolving to reflect the changes in the population. The fact that females make sounds but do not sing lends credence to the idea that men use singing as a method of courting potential mates.
- Others, on the other hand, hypothesize that the song is a challenge to other males since there have been multiple reported cases of males approaching singers, which frequently results in confrontation.
- They reason that this indicates that the song is a challenge.
- No matter what the real reason may be, the song of the humpback whale continues to fascinate all who hear it.
Join us on one of our whale viewing trips and go up close to these magnificent creatures so you can hear their songs for yourself. It is something that absolutely needs to be heard to be believed.
Which skill does scientist use when they listen to the sounds that whales make?
When a scientist listens to the noises that whales create, what kind of ability does she exercise? Ask questions, come up with a hypothesis, put the hypothesis to the test, evaluate the outcomes, come to conclusions, and report the findings. It is a forecast for the future.
Is whale sound real?
Whales generate noise in order to communicate with one another, find food, and locate one another. – A humpback whale doing its signature “singing” posture. Whales are extremely gregarious animals that move in groups that are referred to as “pods.” They interact with one another and associate with one another through the usage of a wide range of sounds.
Clicks, whistles, and pulsing cries are the three most common forms of vocalizations produced by whales. It is claimed that clicks are used for both navigation and determining one’s actual surroundings. The sound waves will return to the whale after they have been reflected off of an item, which will help the whale to determine what the form of the object is.
Even more than that, clicks may be used to discern between animals that are friendly and those that are dangerous. During social interactions, clicks have also been detected, which lends credence to the notion that they may potentially have a communication purpose.
During social events, people will whistle and make pulsed calls to one another. Pulsed calls occur more often and to the human ear, they sound like squeaks, yells, and squawks. It’s been discovered that various pods within the same whale population speak distinct “dialects” when it comes to their vocalizations.
The most plausible explanation for this behavior is that whales use it to identify members of their own pods as distinct from other whales. In addition to using their tails and fins to generate loud slapping noises on the surface of the water, whales use this as a means of nonverbal communication.
The sound may be heard for hundreds of meters below the surface, and it may either be a warning indication of hostility or a tool to frighten schools of fish together, making them an easier meal for the predator. Scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) placed sensors on whales at the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary in order to track the whales’ behavioral patterns.
They seek to get an understanding of the whales’ behavior and communication, in addition to observing how their encounter with humans influences the whales’ behavior.
What animal screams loudest?
A Rundown of the Top 10 Most Noisemaking Animals on the Planet – Let’s run over the list of some of the world’s creatures that have the biggest volume:
|4||Greater Bulldog Bat||140|
|8||Northern Elephant Seal||126|
|10||North American Bullfrog||119|
What frequency do blue whales use?
The noises that blue whales make are quite consistent throughout the year. These cries have been described as pulses, grunts, groans, and moans, and they often fall between the range of 15-40 Hz. They are typically audible to humans because they are too low of a frequency for them to hear.