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Baby Whales ‘Whisper’ to Mothers for Protection | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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A humpback whale is seen near the coast of Mazatlan January 17, 2012. REUTERS/Stringer

Copenhagen, London- Researchers from Denmark and Australia found that newborn humpback whales can whisper when they need their mothers’ protection. Adult whales are known to communicate with each other’s through loud songs.

Simone Videsen, from the University of Aarhus in Denmark and lead author of the study said killer whales chase calves in Exmouth Gulf, Western Australia.

Videsen noted that when calves call their mothers with low voice, killer whales cannot hear their voices. These little whispers also protect them from male whales who seek to mate with feeding females.

Researchers noticed this phenomenon in 2014, when they tracked eight calves and two mothers and used tags attached to the animals to record their sounds and moves, trying to know more information on the first few months of the calves’ life. Videsen said they know almost everything on those animals’ lives.

It is worth noting that swimming through the ocean is daunting for calves. Videsen said: “they swim for 5000 miles in the open seas, in the middle of rough water and strong winds. Having more information on these animals’ feeding process can help us on understanding what can disturb this important behavior, and on applying further precautionary efficient measures.”

In their study published in the Functional Ecology magazine, researchers noticed that calves and their mother whales stay relaxed and silent for a long time. In such circumstances, calves often communicate with their mother through low whispers. Whales often choose this kind of communication during swimming, which according to researchers, helps them to survive in the dark waters.

The newborn calves are around five meters height, and they stay with their mothers till they complete their first year.