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2015年1月10日星期六

Socializing Over a Distance of Miles


图片取自 goodreads

  Nate spent the whole afternoon and most of the evening trying to analyze spectrograms of whale-song recordings, correlate behavior patterns, and then chart the corresponding patterns of interaction. The problem was figuring out what actually defined interaction for eighty-thousand-pound animal? Were animals interacting when they were five hundred yards away? A thousand? A mile, ten miles? The song was certainly audible for miles; the low, subsonic frequencies could travel literally thousands of miles in deep ocean basins.

  Nate tried to put himself in their world——no boundaries, no obstacles. They lived, for most part, in a world of sound, yet they had acute eyesight, both in and out of the water, and special muscles in the eye that allowed them to change focus for either medium. You interacted with animals you could both see and not see. When Nate and Clay used satellite tags, of which they could afford only a few, or rented a helicopter, from which they could observe animals from a wide perspective, it appeared that the whales were indeed responding to each other from miles apart. How do you study an animal that socializing over a distance of miles? The key had to be in the song, in the signal somewhere. If for no other reason than that was the only way to approach the problem.

  ……

Fluke: Or, I Know Why the Winged Whale Sings, P89~90
Christopher Moore
ISBN 978-0-060-56668-5



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