Since none of us are able to speak directly to whales, researchers have been devising creative ways to figure out how and what whales hear. One of the facilities where this research is happening is the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering, named for Irwin Jacobs, who grew up in New Bedford. Dr. Jacobs is the co-founder of QUALCOMM, in San Diego. Locally, Dr. Jacobs is known for his philanthropy through the Jacobs Family New Bedford High Schools Scholarship. These scholarships are presented annually in the Whaling Museum in the Jacobs Family Gallery. New Bedford’s influence in the realm of whales continues to be global.
Press here “How Do Whales Hear?” to get to the abstract for the story from the UC San Diego’s Jacobs School of Engineering blog. Within the abstract is a link for the full article. I’d be interested to know how many of you have actually heard of a Cuvier’s Beaked Whale.
“The researchers, led by Petr Kryls have developed a model that creates a 3-dimensional virtual environment in which they can simulate sounds propagated through the virtual specimen and reveal the interactions between the sound and the anatomy.”
While at the museum make sure to visit our new exhibit, “The Hunt for Knowledge”. This exhibition seeks to answer some common inquiries. The story of human interactions with whales would be incomplete without discussing today’s scientific work and the changes made in fishing practices to protect cetaceans.