STATES CHRONICLE – Researchers revealed that a baby humpback whales can communicate with their mothers, by whispering some squeaks and grunts. Scientists have recorded the baby’s whispers on one of the occurrences. The recordings were explained and described in the journal Functional Ecology. These sounds are the first ever recorded with such sophisticated devices that were directly attached to the baby humpback whale.
Scientists registered baby humpback whales whispering to their mothers
Simone Videsen, a scientist at the Aarhus University in Denmark, stated that this species of whales are approximately five meters long when they are born. All baby whales need to swim with their mothers, traveling for thousands of miles during the annual migration to the water of Antarctica which are rich in food. For scientists, that period while traveling was always a complete mystery.
Videsen noted that the early stages of life for humpback whales are elusive because they are marine animals. Researchers do not have the necessary technology and equipment to trace them all the time, following their evolution and behavior. Nevertheless, Simone Videsen and her colleagues managed to locate eight baby humpback whales by using some movement and special sound recorders.
This behavior might help mothers identify their babies
The revolutionary recorders are equipped with suction cups that allow scientists to stick them onto the skin of baby whales. For approximately a day, this device remains attached there, recording the sounds of whales and then it falls off. When scientists retrieved these small gadgets and played the recordings, they were not sure what they were listening to.
Apparently, the noises made by baby humpback whales are extremely different from those of their mothers and even more different from the haunting sounds emitted by adult male whales. These babies make some squeaky sounds, while some of these sounds seem to be similar to grunting sounds. The sounds were registered as being very quiet as if the baby whispers to its mother.
Viedesen claimed that the babies might whisper because they are afraid that other dangerous marine animals may hear their sounds and hunt them. For instance, killer whales in the area are used to hunt baby whales. Researchers also pointed out that baby humpback whales tend to whisper to their mothers when swimming rather than when nursing or resting. These sounds might help mothers track their babies.
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