NPR

Recordings Reveal Baby Humpback Whales 'Whisper' To Their Mothers

Scientists recently tracked eight baby whales using special sound and movement recorders. The sounds the babies made turned out to be far different from the eerie songs of adult male humpbacks.
A mother and calf humpback whale swim in the Exmouth Gulf in Western Australia. Source: Fredrik Christiansen/Functional Ecology

Baby humpback whales seem to whisper to their mothers, according to scientists who have captured the infant whales' quiet grunts and squeaks.

The recordings, described in the journal Functional Ecology, are the first ever made with devices attached directly

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from NPR

NPR2 min readPsychology
Poll: Americans Say We're Angrier Than A Generation Ago
The latest NPR-IBM Watson Health poll found that 29% of people said they were often angry when checking the news. Another 42% said the news sometimes made them angry.
NPR4 min readSociety
How A Former Child Bride Got A Fatwa Against Child Marriage
It happened in Senegal last week, at a conference organized by young Africans to address the issues of child marriage and female genital mutilation. Here's the story behind the fatwa.
NPR4 min readSociety
'You Don't Own Me,' A Feminist Anthem With Civil Rights Roots, Is All About Empathy
Ever since a 17-year-old Lesley Gore sang it in 1963, the coolly mutinous song has moved women to reject passive femininity. Its writers, though, say there are layers of resistance in its words.