Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Each White Whale Has Its Individual Voice

02.08.2004


The fact that each white whale has individual voice is established by Russian scientists conducting research in the White Sea. Differences between white whales’ voices can be used in estimating their number.



"White whale individuals can be distinguished by the sound of voice practically like humans," - tell V.M. Bel’kovich and S.A. Kreichi from the Shirshov Institute of Oceanology. The scientists observe the animals every year in the White Sea by the Bolshoi Solovetskii Island, where their stationary is located. There dwells a population of white whales that includes many females with calves. The acoustic system consisting of a hydrophone, amplifier, and digital recorder registers communicative calls of white whales within the range from 0.06 to 20 kHz. The stable population structure is beneficial for identifying and distinguishing individual voices of the animals.

Communicative calls of white whales can be compared to human sounds. The whales make various vocal-like, voice-like, whistling, flicking, bumping, hiccupping, and smacking sounds and noises. Therefore, methods for studying human speech are to a certain extent applicable to whales. Their calls can be arranged in blocks that can be grouped at higher hierarchical levels. Certain blocks are often repeated, which makes it possible to suggest that sounds make up syllables, and syllables make up words in whales’ communication.


Using the computer program "Speech Analyzer" the researchers obtained amplitude/time, frequency/time, and spectrum/time characteristics of white whales’ calls. They got especially curious about vowel-like sounds that are either short like vowels in human speech or long like a sort of singing or bleating. These sounds are most characteristic of whale individuals because of differences in their duration, pitch, and timbre. Hence, they can serve as an acoustic mark of an animal.

It is curious that white whales, like people, differ by voice pitch. In the studied population, animals with high-, moderate-, and low-pitched voices constitute 20%, 50%, and 30%, respectively. The distribution of voice pitches in white whale males and females is comparable with that in humans.

The researchers have carefully studied individual characteristic features of whale voices and verified the practical applicability of that knowledge as follows. Using their acoustic device they counted voices in a flock of white whales and estimated the number of animals at about forty, which coincided with visual survey data.

Sergey Komarov | alfa
Further information:
http://www.informnauka.ru

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht What happens in the cell nucleus after fertilization
06.12.2016 | Helmholtz Zentrum München - Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Gesundheit und Umwelt

nachricht Researchers uncover protein-based “cancer signature”
05.12.2016 | Universität Basel

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Robot on demand: Mobile machining of aircraft components with high precision

06.12.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

A new dead zone in the Indian Ocean could impact future marine nutrient balance

06.12.2016 | Earth Sciences

Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

06.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>