The communication of killer whales and pilot whales is still poorly understood. While we know for some species the general context in which sounds are made (reproduction, contact calls for finding each other) many of the calls remain a mystery to us. To properly understand the implications of these responses, we need to know more about why and when animals make specific calls. This process is very challenging especially for vocal species such as killer whales and pilot whales.
The increasing size of current acoustic datasets and the large call repertoire make it very difficult for scientists to address these questions. A single person would take months to go through the data, and the outcome would still depend on a single persons’ interpretation.
For this reason we want to ask you to help us solve this problem, by categorizing the calls of killer whales pilot whales that you find on this website. The dataset generated by this project will allow us to address interesting questions, such as:
How well do different judgements of volunteers agree, and how well can we categorize calls of vocal species such as pilot whales?
How large is the call repertoire of pilot whales? (is size repertoire sign of intelligence?)
Do the long and short finned pilot whales have different call repertoires (or ‘dialects’?).
Does this repertoire change during sonar transmissions? if so, how does this related to changes in behavior of the individuals and the group as a whole?