It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
The love song of a humpback whale sounds magnificently free-flowing and improvised to the casual human listener.
But fresh mathematical analysis of shows there are complex grammatical rules. Using syntax, the whales combine sounds into phrases, which they further weave into hours-long melodies packed with information.
Although the researchers say these songs don't meet the linguistic rigor necessary for a true language, this is the first evidence that animals other than humans use a hierarchical structure of communication. Whales have also been found to sing in dialects.
The amount of information expressed, however, can't compare to human speech. Whale songs generate less than one bit of information per second, while people convey about 10 bits of information per word spoken.