Subject: ABSTRACT: Sperm whale codas (fwd)

Mike Williamson (
Wed, 16 Jul 1997 13:17:33 -0400 (EDT)

     J. Michael Williamson
 Principal Investigator-WhaleNet <>
 Associate Professor-Science
 Wheelock College, 200 The Riverway, Boston, MA 02215
voice: 617.734.5200, ext. 256
fax:    617.734.8666, or 508.468.0073

     "Wrinkles only go where smiles have been"
                  Jimmy Buffett

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Wed, 16 Jul 1997 06:58:50 +0000
From: Hal Whitehead/Linda Weilgart <>
Reply-To: Marine Mammals Research and Conservation Discussion
Subject: ABSTRACT: Sperm whale codas


Weilgart, L. and Whitehead, H. 1997. Group-specific dialects and
geographical variation in coda repertoire in South Pacific sperm
whales. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 40: 277-285.

Codas, which are patterned series of clicks, were recorded from female
and immature sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) in a number of
locations around the South Pacific Ocean and in the Caribbean Sea.
Using K-means cluster analysis, 3,644 codas were categorized based on
the number of clicks and their patterning.  There were 30 resulting
types of coda.  The numbers of codas of the different types recorded
were used to construct repertoires for each recording session, day,
group of whales, place, area, and ocean.  Strong group-specific
dialects, which seem to persist over periods of years, were apparent,
overlain on weaker geographical variation.  Significant differences in
repertoire were found between the Caribbean and the Pacific Ocean.
Sperm whales now join killer whales (Orcinus orca) as the only
cetacean species in which dialects (differences in vocal repertoire
among neighboring, potentially interacting groups) have been found.

Reprint requests, etc to:
L. Weilgart and H. Whitehead
Department of Biology
Dalhousie University
Nova Scotia