Menu

Image of the Day: Distress Signal

Dolphins and pilot whales can tell which orcas are coming for them by listening to their calls.  

Jun 13, 2018
Sukanya Charuchandra

A killer whale call is played 10 seconds into the recording, when a pilot whale responds by vigorously moving (splashing sounds). RESEARCH AND PHOTO COLLECTED UNDER NMFS PERMIT BY ARI FRIEDLAENDER. AUDIO BY MATTHEW BOWERS. 

Not all orcas eat ocean-going mammals, such as dolphins and seals. Some favor fish. Research published in the Journal of Experimental Biology on June 12 puts forward evidence that dolphins and pilot whales can distinguish between the calls of predatory killer whales and those that refrain from eating aquatic mammals.

A group of Risso’s dolphins off the coast of southern California. One dolphin is carrying a multi-sensor acoustic recording tag that is used to measure the response of the dolphins to sounds of their predators. RESEARCH AND PHOTO COLLECTED UNDER NMFS PERMIT BY ARI FRIEDLAENDER.

The scientists attached a data-logger to one member of each pod of dolphins and pilot whales to record their responses to killer whale calls played to them. Four particular calls by killer whales elicited a strong reaction from the pods. While pilot whales were drawn to those calls, the dolphins raced away.

Surprisingly, the predatory killer whale calls were structured similar to human and other mammalian distress sounds.

“We suggest that these calls convey information about the predators’ behavior or intent,” Matthew Bowers, a coauthor on the study, says in a statement.  

M.T. Bowers et al., “Selective reactions to different killer whale call categories in two delphinid species,” J Exp Biol, doi:10.1242/ jeb.162479, 2018.

January 2019

Cannabis on Board

Research suggests ill effects of cannabinoids in the womb

Marketplace

Sponsored Product Updates

FORMULATRIX® digital PCR technology to be acquired by QIAGEN
FORMULATRIX® digital PCR technology to be acquired by QIAGEN
FORMULATRIX has announced that their digital PCR assets, including the CONSTELLATION® series of instruments, is being acquired by QIAGEN N.V. (NYSE: QGEN, Frankfurt Stock Exchange: QIA) for up to $260 million ($125 million upfront payment and $135 million of milestones).  QIAGEN has announced plans for a global launch in 2020 of a new series of digital PCR platforms that utilize the advanced dPCR technology developed by FORMULATRIX combined with QIAGEN’s expertise in assay development and automation.
Application of CRISPR/Cas to the Generation of Genetically Engineered Mice
Application of CRISPR/Cas to the Generation of Genetically Engineered Mice
With this application note from Taconic, learn about the power that the CRISPR/Cas system has to revolutionize the field of custom mouse model generation!
Translational Models of Obesity, Dysmetabolism, Diabetes, and Complications
Translational Models of Obesity, Dysmetabolism, Diabetes, and Complications
This webinar, from Crown Bioscience, presents a unique continuum of translational dysmetabolic platforms that more closely mimic human disease. Learn about using next-generation rodent and spontaneously diabetic non-human primate models to accurately model human-relevant disease progression and complications related to obesity and diabetes here!
BiochemAR: an augmented reality app for easy visualization of virtual 3D molecular models
BiochemAR: an augmented reality app for easy visualization of virtual 3D molecular models
Have you played Pokemon Go? Then you've used Augmented Reality (AR) technology! AR technology holds substantial promise and potential for providing a low-cost, easy to use digital platform for the manipulation of virtual 3D objects, including 3D models of biological macromolecules.