Seals are Guided by Voices

By Jocelyn Selim
Apr 1, 2003 6:00 AMNov 12, 2019 6:07 AM


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Seals are Guided by Voices Seals seem to be smart enough to master a foreign language when they need to. Volker Deecke, a marine biologist from Scotland's St. Andrews University, played killer-whale calls to wild Pacific harbor seals in the coastal waters of British Columbia. Many killer whales eat seals; others stick to a fishy diet. The seals panicked when they heard unknown orcas or known seal eaters but stayed calm when confronted with the familiar calls of killer whales they knew to eat only fish.

Pacific harbor seals have learned the language of killer whales.Photograph courtesy of Volker Deecke.

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