February 17, report. For many years scientists have been studying both the communication and social habits of human and other creatures and over time have developed some hypotheses which they believe transcend species. One of them, known as the social complexity hypothesis, suggests that social structure complexity drives diversity in communications. To find out if sperm whale behavior conforms to the hypothesis, the researchers studied nine individual Caribbean social units whale groupings over a period of six years. Recordings were made which allowed for computer analysis of patterns of what are called codas—stretches of clicks and pauses made by whales , perhaps comparable to individual letters in a word, or multiple words in a sentence, for us humans.
WATCH: Massive sperm whale 'attacks' two snorkelers in Atlantic Ocean | Loop News
Inside this massive head, there is an oily liquid called spermaceti. In the past, whalers confused this liquid for sperm, and for that reason, they called these whales sperm whales. The function of the sperm-like liquid is still uncertain, but many researchers believe it aids their buoyancy or echolocation by expanding sound waves. Sperm whales have the largest brain of any whale and can dive up to 3, feet 1, meters deep to hunt for giant squid and fish. Only the lower jaw is equipped with conical teeth, while the upper jaw has cavities in which the lower teeth are inserted when the mouth is closed. Rather, researchers think that sperm whales swallow their prey whole.
This baby sperm whale was tangled in ocean rubbish for 3 years
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I put computers on sperm whales to study their communication, the origins of culture, and to get people to protect their deep ocean home. My research is motivated by a desire to understand animal societies, how and why they form, and sadly, by necessity, what happens when they fall apart. My current field expeditions play sounds back to the whales to answer questions about how whales recognize each other, their families, and their cultural clans.