14 May '11, 9am

Sperm whales speak with regional accents

Sperm whales speak with regional accents

Sperm whales communicate with each other using a pattern of clicks or 'codas' and it is well known that there is a pattern of a series of five clicks, which are evenly spaced apart, that is used by sperm whales all over the world. It was previously thought that these codas were all very similar but a new study indicates that different sperm whales have different accents when using the same patterns, leading individual identities and communication within families. Through the Dominica Sperm Whale Project, Scientists at the University of St. Andrew have recently confirmed that where a sperm whale comes from will influence the sound properties of their clicks. For example, Caribbean and Pacific whales have a different pattern which is similar to a regional dialect found in humans. This discovery was made while scientists were investigating how much human-induced noise is poll...

Full article: http://www.earthtimes.org/nature/sperm-whales-speak-regio...

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