HEEEEeellLLOOoo thEEEERe. Translation: Hello there!
Oh, that? I was just speaking whale. I know, pretty cool, right? I learned it all from a certain blue tang with an aptitude for cetacean dialects.
The best whale-ese study guide, however, is probably the wealth of marine mammal sounds collected by anthropologist William A. Watkins. The recordings archive is now publicly available to us land-dwellers, courtesy of the New Bedford Whaling Museum in Massachusetts.
So say hello to your new whale buddies!
Watkins invented the first underwater recorders for marine mammal research. By the time he died in 2004, he had amassed one of the world’s largest collections of whale, dolphin, and seal sounds, an invaluable contribution to marine science. WCAI radio explains:
The collection, spanning fifty years, has also enabled researchers to document changes in vocalization (essentially, speech) patterns in right whales due to increasing ocean noise. Right whales faced with noise from ship traffic or other…
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