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By Shane Graber - Posted Dec 02, 2011 10:00 AM
The Whale Song Project (better known as Whale FM) is a team project between Scientific American and the Citizen Science Alliance. Listen to soothing whale vocalizations and help scientists at the Sea Mammal Research Unit in Scotland and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts match it up with others that also have been recorded. your next online radio station help marine researchers understand what whales are saying.

If you've ever wondered what whales and dolphins are really saying with all of their squeaks and clicks or if you just like their soothing, easy listening sounds, then this project just might be for you.

The Whale Song Project (Whale FM for short) uses a crowdsourced approach to help scientists better understand killer whale and pilot whale sounds and to eventually make some sense out of them.

Through the Whale Song Project, citizen scientists are presented with a whale call and shown where it was recorded on a map of the world’s oceans and seas. After listening to the whale call—represented on screen as a spectrogram showing how the pitch of the sound changes with time—citizen scientists are asked to listen to a number of potential matching calls from the project’s database. If a match is found, the citizen scientist clicks on that sound’s spectrogram and the results are stored. (SciAm)

From this project, scientists want to learn a number of things including the size of pilot whales' call repertoire in addition to differences in call repertoire between the long and short-finned pilot whale.

(via io9, SciAm)

Author: Shane Graber
Location: Indiana

Shane has kept saltwater tanks for the last 12 years, is a research scientist, lives in northern Indiana, and is a proud Advanced Aquarist staffer.


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