Many people believe that an emotional bond exists between people and marine mammals. There are people who consider them to be superior to other animals on account of the size of their brains, their acrobatics and above all the intelligence that humans can relate to. If you ever had a floatplane tour then you might have experienced their joyous display. Through the floatplane tour, you can come close to whales, and observe these brilliant creatures for yourself. It appears as if there is some spiritual connection with whales, the wisdom keepers of the seas.
Besides, there is an advanced form of communication that exists between different species of whales. They make use of sound waves in echolocation to detect objects and organisms by sonar. The sound produced by whale bounces off the objects present in water, thus returning to the whale in the form of an echo. This echo precisely helps the whale to get a judgment of the size, shape, speed, direction, along with the internal structure of the object, the echo bounces from.
An interesting bit about these sonar waves is that they travel one kilometer per second. A species known as the Baleen whale has the capability to generate one of the loudest natural sounds on earth. It is basically this weapon of sonar that tells this animal about orientation. With this ability, whales happen to be a predator even in the deep sea where light intensity is minimal.
Whales detect these sound waves through the fat pad present between the mandible and middle ear. You might have heard those short clicking sounds under water. They are basically the echolocation from whales, and the sound that bounces off different objects provides a clear picture to the whale about the obstacles in its path. This noise generated by whales is as short as five seconds but is sufficient for the whale to act as a sonar system.
Apart from the sense of orientation, some whales are also gifted with the ability to communicate through a song. It is a means by which they communicate with each other over long distances. A whale uses songs mostly as a mating call. The songs of these magnificent creatures last for almost 30 minutes.
Moreover, these whale songs can be used as hunting calls. In this case, these songs attract the attention of other whales so that they also get ready for a hunt. Following these sounds, they form a group and lunge together to catch schools of fishes together. This hunting call usually lasts for five to ten seconds.
The most interesting part of whale communication is that it is mainly long distance communication which occurs through the low frequency moans and grunts along with the high frequency chirps and whistles.
It may also interest you to know that sound is not the only means of communication in whales because gestures also play an important part in their communication. The breaching and slapping of their tails is a common gesture along with those forceful sprouts that signal aggravation. Through the years whales have proved to be intelligent animals whose telepathic communication has been of great help to humans.