Caribbean Whales Have an Accent

Repeating Islands

aagn_header.jpgResearch shows Caribbean sperm whales share a unique regional call, Geoffrey Giller reports for Haiku Magazine. Go to the original report to hear the whale’s call.

If you want to know where someone comes from, you might listen to how they speak. Their accent or use of particular words may give you clues to their provenance. As it turns out, the same is true for whales. In a new study, scientists show how sperm whales from the Caribbean share a distinct call that whales from elsewhere in the world don’t make. And that’s not all: besides saying where they’re from, these whales also have specific calls for their family units, and even unique calls for themselves—names, of a sort.

Shane Gero, the lead author of the study and a research fellow at Aarhus University in Denmark, has been recording sperm whale calls in the Caribbean for more than…

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