Study Says Whales Have Their Own Dialects

Sep 14, 2015 11:42 PM EDT | By Maria Leonila Masculino

A new study found out that sperm whales, just like killer whales, birds and chimpanzees can adopt cultural behaviors.  In fact, just like humans, these sea mammals can learn their own dialects.

Published in the journal Nature Communications on Tuesday, scientists had discovered that sperm whales are organized by clans. The groups each have distinctive "codas" that they use to communicate with each other.

This "social learning" is developed by sperm whales that naturally pick up similar behaviors from other members of the clan. According to scientists, whales that "speak the same language" stick together.

Mauricio Cantor, a marine biologist at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada and the study's lead author had been observing the whales' cultural behaviors for 30 years with his colleagues. Although genetic relatedness and transmission of information from mother to offspring couldn't exactly explain the whales' behavioral patterns, Cantor and his group have concluded that "like-minded" individuals learned vocalizations from each other.

"Providing evidence that the processes generating the complex and diverse cultures in human populations could also be at play in non-human societies is a crucial step towards evaluating the contrasts and convergences between human and non-human cultures," researchers wrote.

This fascinating result shows that not only humans possess diverse communication skills.  "We're not that different from them," Cantor told National Georgraphic.

After 30 years of observation in Galapagos Islands, thousands of female sperm whales and their calves are grouped into clans (as mature males settle in colder waters near poles). Now, the researchers are planning to compare the data acquired 30 years ago with the present. "We want to know how their [vocalizations have] changed over time," he added.

In other news, another group just recently had a much closer encounter with a whale. On Saturday in Monterey Bay's Moss Landing Harbor, a massive humpback whale was caught on video as it breached and landed over a kayak with two people.

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS

© 2015 Food World News. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.
Get the Most Popular Food Stories in a Weekly Newsletter
TrendingOn The Web
Food Biz
Chicago School Officials Address Junk Food

Latest Trend Show Soda Losing Its Appeal Fast

A recent Mintel study shows that a quarter of American no longer ordering soft drinks in restaurants compared to a year ago.

McDonald's Reports Record November Sales Up 14.9 Percent

Unusual McDonald's Outlet Offers No Seating For Patrons

A new McDonald's concept outlet has to dining area. Instead, it offers a 'walk up" window to serve customers on foot. Food from this particular McDonald's store are all ordered to go.

Stall Holders Brave The Extreme Cold To Sell Food On The Wintry Roads Of Siberia

Pineapple & Bubblegum Flavored Strawberries Launched in Australia

Raintree Nursery has launched pineberries (or pineapple flavored strawberries) and bubblegum flavored strawberries in Australia, which are absolutely "fabulous".

Food Tech
Mmm... breakfast burrito

Burrit-OH! App: True Love Might Just Come With An Extra Hot Sauce

A new app wants you to find your perfect match solely based on burrito preferences.

Shake Shack Raises Prices For Upcoming IPO

Environmentally Conscious Canadian Creates An App For Budget Foodies

Feeling responsible for the planet, Pellegrini decided to make an app that could prevent leftover foods in eateries from making a trip to the landfill.

Planet Mars Shows Signs Of Liquid Water

Vegan Diet Could Attract Alien Activity

Cosmic mythologist and medical astrologist Laura Magdalene Eisenhower, posited that our diet as humans play an important role in attracting alien life into Earth.

Real Time Analytics