Subject: Sound/hearing information (fwd)

Michael Williamson (pita@whale.simmons.edu)
Wed, 30 Apr 1997 13:17:42 -0400 (EDT)

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Tue, 29 Apr 1997 15:57:02 -0400 (EDT)
From: "w. jones" <mermaid@grove.ufl.edu>
To: JBP98@aol.com
Cc: pita@whale.simmons.edu, krill@whale.simmons.edu
Subject: Re: information

Hi Josh, 

How whales make sounds is a bit complicated to explain and a book from
your local library may be more effective in explaining how they make
sounds.  Some whales make low frequency sounds designed to carry across
long distances.  These sounds are too low for humans to hear but other
whales can hear them.  The blue whales communicate in this manner.
Humpback whales produce songs but how or why has not yet been explained.
Scientists think it may be related to reproductive activities.  Toothed
whales and porpoises echolocate in order to find food.  They do this by
producing a series of clicks.  these clicks bounce of of objects and tell
the whale or porpoise how close an object is.  The clicks and whistles
porpoises and some whales produce appear to be produced in the forehead of
the mammal in an organ called the melon.  there are also a series of
elaborate sacs near the blowhole and by moving air between these sacks,
porpoises and toothed whales can produce echolocation clicks.  Cetaceans
(whales and dolphins) don't have vocal cords like we do.  They make sounds
in order to communicate information to each other.  They may communicate
information about where they are located in relation to each other, where
food is, who they are, and what their reaction is to something another
whale did to them.

I hope I have answered your question.  I am sure that there are books at
the library that can tell you more in-depth information about how whales
and dolphins produce sounds.  This is something that scientists are still
investigating.  If I can be of further assistance, drop me a line.  Good
luck.

W. Jones

On Sat, 26 Apr 1997 JBP98@aol.com wrote:

> Hello,
> I am doing a research on how whales make sounds. Can you send me information
> on how they make these sounds, why they make these sounds and do they have
> vocals chords that make these sounds. Thank you for you help.
> 
> Josh
>