By: Jennifer Hong - Staff Writer
Published: May 14, 2021

Language Sperm Whales Study Unveils Communication

Language Sperm Whales - Scientist have decoded the communication among whales. They have a language filled with dialects and accents, according to a study published in the journal Animal Behavior. The study was published in Science Daily and offers some incredible insights.

This Language Sperm Whales project aims to track and compare whale calls over time. As explained in Science Daily, whales have clicks and patterns known as codas. These codas enable whales to tell what members of a community are speaking.

There are also accents and dialects. For instance, Caribbean and Pacific whales have different dialects. The findings were published by Dalhousie Ph.D. student Shane Gero, University of St. Andrews PhD student Ricardo Antunes, Tyler Schulz, Mr. Gero, Dal professor Dr. Hal Whitehead, and St. Andrews faculty members Dr. Jonathan Gordon and Dr. Luke Rendell.

The aim of the Dominica Sperm Whale Project is to learn more about the whale community, which is under a threat from pollution and human ocean activities.

Physeteroidea is a superfamily including just three living species of whale; the Sperm Whale, in the genus Physeter, and the Pygmy Sperm Whale and Dwarf Sperm Whale, in the genus Kogia.

In the past these genera have sometimes been united in a single family, Physeteridae, with the two Kogia species in a subfamily (Kogiinae).

However, recent practice is to allocate the genus Kogia to its own family, Kogiidae, leaving Physeteridae as a monotypic (single extant species) family, although additional fossil representatives of both families are known.


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