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In & Out Burger Cookout
Makayla MylesApril 3, 2024

In-N-Out is coming to our school for Eligible 6th & 7th Graders. From 1:19-3:15 pm  on the Honor Court Lawn & Covered Eating Area.

A Scientist who is learning to speak whale


For the first time, a scientist has had a conversation with a whale. The researchers who “talked” with the whale say this encounter could be the first step towards non-human communication or intelligence. It was around the coast of southeast Alaska. A team of six scientists was able to play a recording of a greeting call used by humpback whales through an underwater speaker. 


They were all shocked when a whale named Twain responded to their call. “It’s like experiencing a whole different world. You can hear them come to the surface and all come together as a group, it’s just incredible,” says Josie Hubbard who is an animal behaviorist. 


Hubbard was also on the vessel that was “talking” to whales. Their vessel was floating on the water with all its engines turned off in Frederick Sound, Alaska when they had the encounter with the humpback whales. There are regulations when you are doing studies like this, you have to stop a couple hundred meters away from the whales, have your engine turned off, and wait for the whales to come towards you or the vessel. In this case, it was Twain who is 38 years old that approached the boat and circled it for about 20 minutes. 


Hubbard is part of the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence or (Seti) research team that hopes to have an understanding of the communicative complexes of humpback whales. Below the deck of the vessel, researchers broadcasted a humpback call through an underwater speaker. Twain finally moved away from the vessel but left the scientists with exciting news. Twain had spoken back engaging in a conversation that had lasted 20 minutes. 


Whales communicate in long rhythmic and constantly evolving “songs” that can flow across entire oceans. They talk with whistles and pulses. They can also use echolocation to sense the surroundings of their underwater environment. 


Whales have given humans a lot of information for centuries. Whales also have a long list of behaviors that are similar to humans. They can work and cooperate with other species. They teach each other useful skills and even look after each other’s youth. 


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