Sound Playback Experiments with Southern Right Whales (Eubalaena australis)

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Science  08 Feb 1980:
Vol. 207, Issue 4431, pp. 663-665
DOI: 10.1126/science.207.4431.663


A variety of sound recordings were played to southern right whales. Whales approached the loudspeaker and made frequent sounds in response to recordings of other southern right whales, but swam away and made relatively few sounds in response to playbacks of water noise, 200-hertz tones, and humpback whale sounds. Thus it appears that southern right whales can differentiate between con-specific sounds and other sounds.