Saturday, September 19, 2015

Animals Are People Too

Everytime I see articles like this, I think to myself, not that maybe animals are just like people, but instead that the things we consider so special, and the things that 'make us human', are not so.

Social insights from whale chatter
BBC News, Sep 2015

[modified from article]
These great beasts live in very tight social networks, chatting amongst each other using a system of clicks like Morse code - patterns of three to 12 or 15 clicks that vary in rhythm and tempo

The researchers have shown how separate clans - perhaps numbering thousands of animals - will use their own particular subtle sequence of noises.

These vocalisations are not innate - they must be learned, and may indicate the whales are behaving in ways that at some level mirror the operation of human cultures.

"In one clan we call the 'regular clan', we heard regularly spaced clicks, but in another vocal clan that we call the 'plus-ones', the coda types they make have an extended pause at the end before the last click."
-PhD student MaurĂ­cio Cantor

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