Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Each White Whale Has Its Individual Voice

Date:
August 18, 2004
Source:
Informnauka (Informscience) Agency
Summary:
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.

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.

Related Articles


"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.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Informnauka (Informscience) Agency. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Informnauka (Informscience) Agency. "Each White Whale Has Its Individual Voice." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 August 2004. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/08/040816000932.htm>.
Informnauka (Informscience) Agency. (2004, August 18). Each White Whale Has Its Individual Voice. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/08/040816000932.htm
Informnauka (Informscience) Agency. "Each White Whale Has Its Individual Voice." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/08/040816000932.htm (accessed December 22, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Monday, December 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) Polish scientists isolate bacteria from earthworm intestines which they say may be used in antibiotics and cancer treatments. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Existing Chemical Compounds Could Revive Failing Antibiotics, Says Danish Scientist

Existing Chemical Compounds Could Revive Failing Antibiotics, Says Danish Scientist

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) A team of scientists led by Danish chemist Jorn Christensen says they have isolated two chemical compounds within an existing antipsychotic medication that could be used to help a range of failing antibiotics work against killer bacterial infections, such as Tuberculosis. Jim Drury went to meet him. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Monarch Butterflies Descend Upon Mexican Forest During Annual Migration

Monarch Butterflies Descend Upon Mexican Forest During Annual Migration

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Dec. 19, 2014) Millions of monarch butterflies begin to descend onto Mexico as part of their annual migration south. Rough Cut (no reporter narration) Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins