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Humpback whales possess a vastly more elaborate vocabulary than
was known, researchers now report.
Scientists had previously known of a very narrow range of sounds
involved in humpback communication.
These include calls associated with hunting for fish and long complex
songs from male humpbacks linked with mating.
To investigate the whales further, researcher Rebecca Dunlop at the
University of Queensland in Australia and colleagues monitored
humpback sounds and activity from land as the whales migrated
along the east coast of Australia from breeding grounds inside the
Great Barrier Reef to feeding grounds in the Antarctic.
"The most surprising thing was there were 35 different types of
We were expecting less than 10," Dunlop told LiveScience.
The scientists discovered these sounds appeared to have a variety
of social uses including to help mothers and calves stay in contact,
or as competitive calls among large groups of adults.
The whale calls might also be be specific to one sex.
Originally posted by whatukno
Why is this suprising? Sea mamals have as much brain power as humans do. Just because a spiecies cannot create tools to exploit the world around them does not mean that they are less intelegent thain we are. Perhaps they have a much more defined quality and harmony with nature thain we do.