Nonhuman Communication: First Communication with a Humpback Whale – TVA Nouvelles

Researchers have managed to communicate with a humpback whale in its language, which could be the first of its kind.

A team of scientists from the SETI Institute, the University of California Davis and the Alaska Whale Foundation played a recording of a humpback whale in the water over an underwater speaker, and a female humpback whale named Twain approached, circling the boat and responding to the recording .

The SETI Institute reported this in a press release last week.

“We believe this is the first communicative exchange between humans and humpback whales in their own language,” said Dr. Brenda McCowan, one of the authors and a fellow at UC Davis.

The SETI team studied the communication systems of humpback whales with the goal of developing filters to search for extraterrestrial intelligence [non-humaine].

“Humpback whales are extremely intelligent, have complex social systems, make tools, and communicate intensively through melodies and social calls,” added co-author Dr. Fred Sharpe from the Alaska Whale Foundation added.

During the 20-minute exchange, Twain interacted with each signal on the recording.

“Due to current technological limitations, an important assumption in the search for non-human intelligence is that extraterrestrial beings are interested in making contact and therefore target human receptors. This hypothesis is certainly supported by the behavior of humpback whales,” explained Dr. Laurance Doyle from the SETI Institute and co-author of the article.