19.09.2016 – Songs of the Pilot Whales
We got a good view at pilot whales today. Two large groups of pilot whales were swimming outside Calheta. They were very calm, and allowed us to come to close to them. We could even hear their sounds from the boat! Pilot whales have a rich variety of vocalizations, such as whistles, calls, clicks, rasps and buzzes. Sound recordings can be used to track the movement of pilot whales, because every group and individual has their own specific call. Pilot whales might even communicate with other species. A recent scientific article1 investigated how pilot whales use sounds at different depths to communicate. This article suggests that part of the pilot whale sounds in deep waters might be used to communicate with other animals, including whales. There is lot of life in deep waters, so maybe not an unnecessary luxury.
1Pérez, J.M., Jensen, F.H., Rojano-Donate, L., Aguilar de Soto, N. (2016). Different modes of acoustic communication in deep-diving short-finned pilot whales (Globicephala macrorynchus). Marine Mammal Science, DOI 10.1111/mms.12344. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/mms.12344/full
by Judith Kok
09.00: Pilot Whales, Atlantic Spotted Dolphins, Common Dolphins
15.30: Pilot Whales, Bottlenose Dolphins
13.30: Pilot Whales, Bottlenose Dolphins