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 read
Ambience, Vocalized: Instrumentalist Tycho Adds Saint Sinner's Vocals To 'Weather'
Tycho, whose real name is Scott Hansen, is famous for his ambient instrumental tracks. But for Tycho's latest album, Weather, Hansen enlisted Saint Sinner to add vocals to the ambience.
NPR5 min readFood & Wine
50 Years After Apollo 11, Here's What (And How) Astronauts Are Eating
Ever since astronaut John Glenn's first bite of applesauce in 1962, eating in space has been a challenge. NPR talks to former NASA food scientists to see how cosmic cuisine has evolved over the years.
NPR3 min readPolitics
In India's Assam State, Residents Of River Islands Face Uncertainty Over Citizenship
Some 4 million people, many Muslim and impoverished, were excluded from a 2018 official register of citizens. Photographer CK Vijayakumar visited Assam to learn more about the challenges they face.