If you’ve ever wondered what whales and dolphins are really saying with all of their squeaks and clicks or if you just like their soothing, easy listening sounds, then this project just might be for you.
The Whale Song Project (Whale FM for short) uses a crowdsourced approach to help scientists better understand killer whale and pilot whale sounds and to eventually make some sense out of them.
Through the Whale Song Project, citizen scientists are presented with a whale call and shown where it was recorded on a map of the world’s oceans and seas. After listening to the whale call—represented on screen as a spectrogram showing how the pitch of the sound changes with time—citizen scientists are asked to listen to a number of potential matching calls from the project’s database. If a match is found, the citizen scientist clicks on that sound’s spectrogram and the results are stored. (SciAm)
From this project, scientists want to learn a number of things including the size of pilot whales’ call repertoire in addition to differences in call repertoire between the long and short-finned pilot whale.