Subject: Re: whale communication

Steve Frohock (Sfrohock@tiac.net)
Sun, 03 Nov 1996 20:00:02 -0800

Beth Thomas wrote:
> 
> Hi!  My name is Beth Thomas and I was wondering how whales communicate?

Hi Beth,  Whales can communicate in a number of different ways. All 
whales and dolphins make a wide variety of sounds. They lack vocal cords, 
so it is believed these sounds are produced by moving air around internal 
cavities. Sounds are used communicate with other whales, to locate food 
and probably to help with navigation. Humpback whales produce long, 
intricate songs that the males sing on the breeding grounds. Dolphins 
produce echolocation clicks (sonar) to find food. Fin and blue whales 
produce very low sounds that may be heard over hundreds of miles away.

Whales also communicate in "non-verbal" ways such as breaching of flipper 
slapping. This type of communication is probably used to convey social 
messages at close range, possibly relaying information used in dominance 
hierarchies.

I did some searching for you and found some whale sounds on the web. Go 
to http://www.lycos.com and search for whale communication then click on 
the "Sound" button. It listed 88 different sires that have whale sounds. 
You can also find additional information on communication using the web 
search engine altavista (http://www.altavista.digital.com)

Steve