Play orca snap at Whale FM

Like listening to whale sounds? Want make a contribution to science? Then tune into Whale FM.

Also known as the Whale Song Project, Whale FM is a new citizen science outfit based at Scientific American asking for your help to figure out what whales are saying and if pilot whales – like killer whales – talk in distinct dialects.

The simple but powerful idea is to get visitors to the website to listen to recorded whale calls and match up those that sound similar.

Many of the calls are recorded from sucky-cup devices called D Tags (Digital acoustic recording device) – immensely clever little gadgets that are stuck onto a whale and towed around for a while gathering all sorts of useful data including sounds.

From the Whale FM website:

Every time you match a pair of Orca calls, you’re casting a vote for those two calls to be considered ‘similar’. By doing this over and over again, with many people listening to each sound and casting a vote, we can build up a map of those calls that are more or less alike, to find patterns and groupings. We’re learning how whales communicate with each other.

So, I guess there are the real ‘podcasts’ (ha ha – HT to Andy_Heil for that gag).

Read more at the BBC here

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