Whale Song - 'Pop Culture' of the Planet's Largest Species

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Scientists are starting to consider the notion that whales might have a pretty cool culture. It looks as though Herman Melville picked the right hero for his epic novel..

"Whales are pretty hard to study, but evidence is coming up from quite a number of species that in a whole range of ways, they're learning things from each other and they're passing it on to other whales, and that's culture," says Hal Whitehead, biology professor at Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia, Canada.  Whitehead says whales don't have opposable thumbs, so they can't craft material objects to pass on through the generations: "Whale cultures are in their minds and not in the things that they make."

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DEEP, DARK LIFE! Marine Explorers Take Census of Extreme Species Living Beyond Sunlight

Deep4 Census of Marine Life scientists have inventoried an astonishing abundance, diversity and distribution of deep sea species that have never known sunlight - creatures that somehow manage a living in a frigid black world down to 5,000 meters (~3 miles) below the ocean surface. 

With images captured by deep-towed cameras, sonar and other vanguard technologies, animals known to thrive in an eternal watery darkness now number 17,650, a diverse collection of species ranging from crabs to shrimp to worms. Most have adapted to diets based on meager droppings from the sunlit layer above, others to diets of bacteria that break down oil, sulfur and methane, the sunken bones of dead whales and other exotic foods.

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Whale Speak: Language Key to Their Culture (VIDEO)

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Scientists are starting to consider the notion that whales might have a pretty cool culture. Maybe the Great White Whale was smarter than Ahab.

"Whales are pretty hard to study, but evidence is coming up from quite a number of species that in a whole range of ways, they're learning things from each other and they're passing it on to other whales, and that's culture," says Hal Whitehead, biology professor at Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia, Canada.  Whitehead says whales don't have opposable thumbs, so they can't craft material objects to pass on through the generations: "Whale cultures are in their minds and not in the things that they make."

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BioBombers of the Deep-Ocean Cosmos

Futura_ocean-1024x768 The depths of the ocean and space have a lot in common: they're hard to get to, often very dark, and we always end up with alien-looking things firing glowing projectiles at us.  A brand new species has been discovered, and when even the scientists call them "Green Bombers" you know they've got unique properties.

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Zeroing in on Whale Culture: Language is the Key

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Scientists are starting to consider the notion that whales might have a pretty cool culture. Maybe the Great White Whale was smarter than Ahab (and that's totally cool!).

"Whales are pretty hard to study, but evidence is coming up from quite a number of species that in a whole range of ways, they're learning things from each other and they're passing it on tob v other whales, and that's culture," says Hal Whitehead, biology professor at Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia, Canada.  Whitehead says whales don't have opposable thumbs, so they can't craft material objects to pass on through the generations: "Whale cultures are in their minds and not in the things that they make."

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GeoProfiling Jaws: Criminal-Investigation Tool Being Used to Track Habits of Great White Sharks

Great-white-sharks The predatory behavior of sharks has has been a mystery for centuries. Now, researchers from the United States and Canada are using geographic profiling -- a criminal investigation tool used to track a connected series of crimes and locate where serial criminals live -- to examine the hunting patterns of white sharks in South Africa.

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Exploring the Earth's Abyss: Robotic Expedition Reveals an Alien World

Mariana Trench Two recent deep-sea explorations have paved the way for our understanding of our planet's extreme environments and what life forms might be like on other planets and moons within our Solar System and beyond.

In an engineering triumph that makes Captain Nemo look like a fat kind with water wings, the Nereus (rhymes with "serious") has plumbed the very depths of the ocean.

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Do Dolphins Have a Sense of the Future? -A Galaxy Insight

Dolphin_2They’re labeled the smartest mammals on Earth that aren’t human, and at the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies in Mississippi, Kelly the Dolphin is earning her reputation. In fact, it could very well be that she has now got the upper hand on her human trainers… or pets?

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Scientists Begin to Decode Whale Speak

Humpback_whale_underwater_shot_2 Cetaceans are known to be among the most clever and intelligent of all mammals. They have brains that are roughly the same size as humans or larger, which are similarly or superiorly complex (although differently evolved in structure). This has led some marine biologists to speculate that whales, and other Cetaceans, could be as intelligent as humans, and may even have several unknown communicative abilities, that surpass our current understanding through sonar and other means.

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Do Dolphins Have a Sense of the Future? -A Galaxy Insight

Dolphin Partly because their brains are roughly the same size as humans, and are similarly or superiorly complex (although differently evolved in structure), some marine biologists have speculated that dolphins, and other Cetaceans, are at least as intelligent as humans, and could have several unknown communicative abilities, that surpass human understanding.

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