- The Fairs
- Curious Minds
In a new "crowdsourcing" experiment, scientists are appealing to the public for help in deciphering killer whale calls. Scientific American and The Zooniverse launched The Whale Project this week. By visiting whale.fm, people can study and compare spectograms of whale calls gathered from around the world. One impetus for this experiment is that people can succeed at this task where computers fail. "If these animals have some form of linguistics or language tradition, we're wanting to try to find the words within that repertoire of sounds," said project collaborator and University of St. Andrew professor Ian Boyd. "We don't know what they mean but what we do find is they have different lexicons; different groups have different types of sound, and they probably inherit these sounds from their parents."