Whale communication and culture

Printer-friendly version

One of the most compelling fields in whale biology is the study of communication and culture. Odontocetes, or toothed whales such as dolphins and sperm whales, propagate sound waves to echolocate, allowing them to detect objects and organisms with sonar. Mysticetes, or baleen whales, have vocal folds, or cords, that allow them to generate the loudest biological sounds on earth. Some cetologists have found that these sounds also indicate the presence of cultural lineages. Groups of killer whales maintain their own vocal dialects, despite interaction with other orcas. Dolphins appear to possess some of the core properties of grammar and syntax, fundamental to human language.

Read Full Article...

See original: Featured Articles - Encyclopedia of Earth Whale communication and culture