Mother Whales BULLS to evade orcas while swimming with their calves
- Research called whales with sound recorders in Flinders Bay, for Western Australia
- They discovered that the whales seem to stay in the noisy surf and keep the voices low
- This probably helps them go unnoticed by orcas, which are known predators
They can be twice the size of predators from the top of the ocean, but South Right whales do not take risks when it comes to protecting their babies.
These marine mammals, which can grow to more than 45 feet in length and can even reach 20 feet, just like calves, are known for choosing turbid water that hides them.
And scientists now say that they can even lower their voices to stay away from the orca radar.
In a new study, researchers have recorded what they believe to be whale whispers, because the animals hide in the noisy surf and keep communication low to go unnoticed.
These marine mammals, which can grow to more than 45 feet in length and can even reach 20 feet, just like calves, are known for choosing turbid water that hides them. And scientists now say that they can even lower their voices to stay away from the orca radar
Researchers studied the conversations between mothers from the south of the right wing whale and their calves in Flinders Bay, in the far south of Western Australia.
Previous research has shown that humpback whales whisper to protect their young, the team notes.
But eavesdropping on whales is not easy.
& # 39; One of the first challenges was getting to know the whales in our study area & # 39 ;, said Mia Nielsen from the University of Aarhus, Denmark.
& # 39; The number of whales frequenting the bay is low. & # 39;
The team tagged resting whales with sound recording devices while they were perched close to the surface.
According to the researchers, mother whales and their calves often stay close together and seek shelter in the surf, where they are better hidden.
Using the tags, the experts were able to determine that they also seem to be whispering to each other, reducing the sound of their conversations occasionally during a dive.
& # 39; On average, the tags stayed with the mother for about 7 hours & # 39 ;, Nielsen said, although the calves said goodbye in about 40 minutes.
& # 39; South right whales are very physical with each other, the calves spend a lot of time rubbing against the mother and rolling over her back, tail and rostrum. & # 39;
They can be twice the size of predators from the top of the ocean, but South Right whales do not take risks when it comes to protecting their babies. File photo
The team then analyzed the recordings – which again posed a few challenges.
& # 39; It was difficult to assign the calls to the calf or the mother because they are so close together & # 39 ;, said Nielsen.
However, there were two different types of calls: growling and & # 39; roaring & # 39 ;.
And they discovered that the volume was surprisingly quiet, often drowned by the waves within a few hundred meters.
The researchers say that this probably makes it difficult for orcas to record their calls.
WHAT DO WE KNOW ABOUT WHALE SONG?
For a long time it was believed that whales sang exclusively for mating purposes.
But some experts suggest that the songs also help mammals explore their environment.
Researchers have included humpbacks that change their calls when they move to new meadows to match the numbers of others around them.
By learning these songs, whales can find each other and group together better when they are in unknown waters.
Researchers have included humpbacks that change their calls when they move to new pastures to match the numbers of others around them (file photo)
It is difficult for scientists to study how whales sing because the shy animals are notoriously difficult to observe and each species vocalizes differently.
Humpback whales sing with folds in the vocal box that vibrate at low frequencies when air is pushed over.
It has been suggested that they have special air pockets in addition to these vocal cords that are connected to the lungs.
This allows the whales to let air through their lungs, pouches and vocal cords without losing their precious air supply.
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