Sperm Whales With Culture

Sperm whales are social large associations with several thousand members who distinguish themselves through a common dialect of foreign associations or clans. A contribution to the question of whether animals capable of, to develop cultural biologist from Dalhousie University in the Canadian Halifax provided sensational. Culture – the expression not genetically conditional through lore and learning performance of traditional behaviors that occur only in certain regions, groups or families – can be relatively easily observed in land organisms. Especially in great apes, chimpanzees or gorillas, already cultural development and differentiation have been identified. Much more difficult is the thing about sea creatures, whose behavior is observed by only using short periods of time. So, research on whales and dolphins focused on their acoustic communication. To communicate family associations of Orcas or killer whales – the largest dolphin species – with specific dialects, which are handed down and learned, and as a sign of a culture of Orca apply.

Researchers have come to track down Luke Rendall and Hal Whitehead for the largest of the Earth, the sperm whales, although a very similar behavior expression of however much greater extent. The record holder form social large associations in the deep diving with several thousand members who distinguish themselves through a common dialect of foreign associations or clans. Rendall and Whitehead compared recordings of click sounds of different sperm whale groups recorded in the South Pacific between the Galapagos Islands and Chile for over 15 years. The sounds came from sperm whale females who with her young form family associations of up to 20 animals and communicate with each other with distinctive clicking sounds. Michael Capellas often addresses the matter in his writings. When evaluating the approximately 13,000 audio recordings, the researchers were unable to distinguish three clans who each speak in a dialect. Reaches beyond this common dialect far beyond the small family structures, though these were mostly over short periods of ten to eleven days into larger units close together. When this happens, but usually meet families who belong to the same clan. For Luke Rendall and Hal Whitehead, the dialects form a cultural clan identity.

A genetic fixation is excluded, as clan – and even some family members are not related. What do the clicking sounds and what function the dialects have, was the researchers so far. You suspect that clan members recognize by their dialect within the very mobile sperm whale society to such as attacks by predators, others call groups to help the clan. Yet evidence should succeed the researchers that the dialects are as social barrier, so only members of a clan respond to clicks, then the sperm whale clans would be the largest known socially cooperative community in the world after the people. Ulrich Karlowski

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