Research News 2011


05 21 11 Sperm Whale Regional Accents

On Quirks & Quarks, Bob McDonald interviews Shane Gero, of the Biology Department at Dalhousie University. Gero studies Sperm Whales in the Carribean, and finds that they click with regional accents, that whales hang out with other whales who share their accent and that individual whales have signature clicks.
Q&Q: Whales with Regional Accents (includes links to paper in Animal Behavior and to Gero's web page.)

More on Sperm Whale Communication: Hal Whitehead, of the Department of Biology, Dalhousie University, discusses sperm whale communication in a seminar on culture in non-human animals 1 18 2010.
CARTA: Learning, Culture and Traditions in Monkeys, Chimpanzees and Sperm Whales
Also available as part of the CARTA podcast, free from the iTunes Store, which contains other talks touching on animal communication.

05 03 11 Vocal Learning and Culture

"Vocal Learning and Culture," first aired: 1/11/2010, is part of a series of podcasts by UCTV.
“In this edition of CARTA’s Human and Non-Human Culture Series, two renowned researchers, Woods Hole's Peter Tyack and former UCSD post-graduate Timothy Wright discuss fascinating discoveries about the languages of Parrots and Dolphins.”
Find this video or audio-only podcast by searching on "Vocal Learning and Culture" in iTunes,
or navigate to the UCTV page.

04 27 11 Bonobos Extract Meaning from Call Sequences

A research article in PLoS ONE describes the first playback study on the natural vocal behaviour of bonobos. Bonobos produce five acoustically distinct call types when finding food, which they regularly mix together into longer call sequences.
Clay Z, Zuberbühler K (2011) Bonobos Extract Meaning from Call Sequences. PLoS ONE 6(4): e18786. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0018786

01 08 11 Whistling Caterpillars

On Quirks & Quarks, Bob McDonald interviews Jayne Yack, a neuroethologist in the Department of Biology at Carleton University in Ottawa, who studies the evolution of caterpillar communication.
Q&Q: Whistling Caterpillars
Q&Q: Caterpillars Walk the Talk
Q&Q: Caterpillar Clicking (2007)
ACP: Caterpillars and Ants