Baby humpbacks avoids hungry killer whales with silent whisper: Study
Melbourne : Baby humbacks play smart in waters to avoid hungry killer whales, they opt silent whispers with mother whales to stick together, researchers have found in Australia.
Australian and Danish scientists tagged newborn calves with microphones and recorded their behavious. The researchers found that the infants — which already measure five metres at birth — communicate with their mothers through quiet grunts and high-pitched squeaks, not the powerful moans of the adults.
Researchers after listening to the recorded chatter came to a conclusion that this silent murmer by baby whales keep them together and safe in the murky water.
The scientists believe the calves keep their voices low to avoid tipping off predatory killer whales, as well as pushy male humpbacks looking to mate with their mothers.
“We also heard a lot of rubbing sounds, like two balloons being rubbed together, which we think was the calf nudging its mother when it wanted to nurse,” said lead author Simone Videsen of Aarhus University in Denmark.
She said scientists knew “next to nothing” about the early weeks of whales in the wild. “They are crucial for the calves’ survival during the long migration to their feeding grounds.”
The study also included researchers from Perth’s Murdoch University. It has been published in the journal Functional Ecology.