Come on Shamu, You Know I Don't Speak Dolphin!
The findings of a new study reveal that killer whales have the keen ability to learn the vocalizations of other species. Researchers came to this conclusion after observing a group of orcas adopt the songs and sounds of neighboring dolphins.
Have you ever noticed that when you spend an extended length of time in another country, your vocal patterns sometimes shift to replicate the local dialect? Or perhaps you've even been able to pick up a new language just through immersion. If so, you likely know how it feels to be one of the killer whales at the center of a new study published in The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America.
That's because researchers at the National Marine Mammal Foundation have confirmed suspicions that killer whales are able to learn the vocalizations of other species. In the case of this particular study, a group of orcas exposed over three years to bottlenose dolphins were observed to have altered their communicative sounds to mirror those of their dolphin neighbors.
Laura Geggel of Live Science explains more:
"Killer whales can also learn entirely new sounds, the researchers found. One killer whale living alongside dolphins learned how to make a chirp sequence that a human caretaker had taught the dolphins before the whale's arrival."
"The whales' skills indicate a high level of neural plasticity, meaning their brain circuits can change to incorporate new information."
The findings are expected to help scientists learn more about how killer whales socialize, which will hopefully then contribute to conservation efforts. To learn more about the study as well as how orcas and other cetaceans undergo vocal learning, check out the links below.
Read more at Yahoo
Read the study at Acoustical Society of America
Photo credit: FineShine / Shutterstock
Upstreamism advocate Rishi Manchanda calls us to understand health not as a "personal responsibility" but a "common good."
- Upstreamism tasks health care professionals to combat unhealthy social and cultural influences that exist outside — or upstream — of medical facilities.
- Patients from low-income neighborhoods are most at risk of negative health impacts.
- Thankfully, health care professionals are not alone. Upstreamism is increasingly part of our cultural consciousness.
The Bajau people's nomadic lifestyle has given them remarkable adaptions, enabling them to stay underwater for unbelievable periods of time. Their lifestyle, however, is quickly disappearing.
- The Bajau people travel in small flotillas throughout the Phillipines, Malaysia, and Indonesia, hunting fish underwater for food.
- Over the years, practicing this lifestyle has given the Bajau unique adaptations to swimming underwater. Many find it straightforward to dive up to 13 minutes 200 feet below the surface of the ocean.
- Unfortunately, many disparate factors are erasing the traditional Bajau way of life.
We explore the history of blood types and how they are classified to find out what makes the Rh-null type important to science and dangerous for those who live with it.
- Fewer than 50 people worldwide have 'golden blood' — or Rh-null.
- Blood is considered Rh-null if it lacks all of the 61 possible antigens in the Rh system.
- It's also very dangerous to live with this blood type, as so few people have it.
An innovation may lead to lifelike evolving machines.
- Scientists at Cornell University devise a material with 3 key traits of life.
- The goal for the researchers is not to create life but lifelike machines.
- The researchers were able to program metabolism into the material's DNA.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.