WATCH VIDEO: And Discover A Whale of A Secret!
Noc, the beluga whale became posthumously famous after he once allegedly told a diver to “get out of the water”. The diver surfaced from the tank and asked: “Who told me to get out?”
Then the scientists were amazed to discover what a 15-year-old beluga whale named Noc could do. In this video scientist explain that Noc made human-like vocalizations – which the first to be recorded ever.
It’s long been known that beluga whales have a talent mimicry and scientists who have studied the calls of wild Belugas wrote that “occasionally the calls would suggest a crowd of children shouting in the distance,” and keepers at the Vancouver Aquarium said that a 15-year-old Beluga named “Lagosi” was able to speak his own name.
Beluga whale belugas have been dubbed the canaries of the sea. What today’s story tells us is nothing new. But it does underline the fact that such whales are not only still kept captive in oceanaria in Europe, Asia and North America, but that they are actively being hunted in Russian waters for sale to such facilities in the United States.
An acoustic analysis revealed the human-like sounds were several octaves lower than typical whale calls. The research was published on Monday in the scientific journal Current Biology.
NOC’s vocalizations were recorded and studied by a team of biologists from the National Marine Mammal Foundation (NMMF) led by Sam Ridgway. In 1984, Ridgway and others at the NMMF began to hear peculiar sounds coming from the whale and dolphin enclosure. They though they heard someone cry “out, out, out!” After one scientist asked his colleagues “Who told me to get out?”, they realized it had been NOC. They immediately began to record the sounds and reward him for the behavior, teaching him to make them on command. Eventually, they installed a pressure sensor in his nasal cavity to better understand the mechanism by which the sounds were produced.
According to Ridgway, “They were definitely unlike usual sounds for a whale, and similar to human voices in rhythm and acoustic spectrum.” Humans who use their larynx to produce sounds while whales use their nasal tract. Data gathered from the pressure sensors indicated that NOC was using his nasal tract as well, although he altered his normal vocal mechanics. In particular, he over-inflated his vestibular sac, which is normally used to prevent water from entering the lungs.
Hear it with your own ears!
Via: Deep Sea Creatures