In their foraging grounds of the dark, frigid waters in southeast Alaska’s Fredrick Sound, humpback whales are calling to one another with “purrs,” “shrieks,” “wops” and “moans.” To find out why they speak and what they might be saying, Oregon State University graduate student Michelle Fournet is listening.
“There was just a low fence around the tank, and you could literally reach over and throw the ring,” recalls Albertson, a Ph.D. student in Oregon State University’s Marine Mammal Institute. “She kept coming back to me. It was a neat connection. It really made an impact on me.”