Archives for posts with tag: whales

Dr Karina Acevedo-Whitehouse has discovered the best way to collect samples from whales and monitor their health without distressing them. She uses a remote-controlled helicopter to pass a Petri dish through the plume coming from their blowholes to collect – well – whale snot. She received the 2010 (Ig) Nobel Prize for Engineering for this. Thanks to QI!

False killer whales can turn down their hearing when they anticipate loud noises – this protects their very sensitive ears from damage. This may have developed to protect themselves from the clicks and buzzes they make in echolocation, and could be used to help them cope with the loud sounds in the ocean made by humans.

Whales and dolphins can focus beams of sound. They use echolocation, and focusing a stream of clicking sounds allows them to study things in detail.

Whales’ levels of stress hormones increase as the density of shipping increases.

Young pygmy goats develop accents as they grow up. This could help them identify other members of their groups. The other mammals with accents are bats, humans and whales.

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