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Mystery solved: this is how whales sing at a depth of a thousand meters

Mystery solved: this is how whales sing at a depth of a thousand meters

When toothed whales like sperm whales dive deeper than 1,000 metres, they are under very high pressure. The high pressure causes the whales’ lungs to collapse and the volume of air they carry when they dive is reduced to one percent of what is at the surface of the water.

Even though they don’t have any air in their lungs, toothed whales are still capable of producing some of the loudest sounds in the animal world.

It produces short clicking sounds that radiate forward in a narrow beam, possibly hitting a fish and then bouncing back as an echo. They interpret these echoes, says zoologist Mats Amundin, who read the study, and if it’s an edible fish, they look for it.

squawking and singing in falsetto

Now a group of German and Danish researchers has solved the problem Puzzle With how toothed whales are able to produce this clicking sound with very little air in their lungs.

They found that very little air was needed to make the click sound like this. Zoologist Mats Amunden says this is one explanation for why whales developed this mechanism.

The researchers also discovered that, like humans, toothed whales have several different vocal registers when they make sounds. The clicking sounds match up with squeaking sounds reminiscent of Britney Spears and many other popular artists.

When toothed whales communicate with each other, they make a cracking sound similar to our song. Toothed whales such as dolphins and orcas can also whistle, which is the equivalent of when a singer sings in falsetto.

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The loudest sound in the animal world

The sounds of toothed whales can be very powerful, and the clicking sounds of sperm whales are among the loudest in the animal world. The pain threshold for human hearing is 120 decibels, but the sperm whale emits much louder.

– If someone doesn’t want to turn away, the sperm whale can aim its sonic cannon at the other person’s ear and burn at 236 decibels, stinging them.