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Old 02-02-2011, 07:57 AM   #1
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Default The whale of culture

"Whales are not only the largest animals that have ever lived they are also among the most intelligent, and yet we still know very little about them. New research, however, suggests that sperm whales at least use sophisticated communication techniques to develop distinct and separate cultures. Here to discuss the latest in cetacean research to mark next month's Peninsula Arts Whale Festival, are Philip Hoare, a self-confessed "whalehead" and author of Leviathan or, The Whale, winner of the 2009 BBC Samuel Johnson Prize, and Dr Hal Whitehead from Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, a world expert on sperm whales."

"Culture leads to a whole new range of processes, which don't happen in most animals or plants. The possibility that there are other groups of animals that have these flows of information, running through their population and interacting in extraordinary ways, is most intriguing. In the case of the sperm whale, we have a creature of great mystery and potential. We tried to explain what we found using the principles of genetic evolution but we found things we couldn't explain, so we had to think about other processes. The process that made sense was culture."

The cultural life of whales | Feature | Science | The Observer
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Old 02-03-2011, 06:58 AM   #2
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Why would we doubt this? Thank you for sharing,
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