Sperm whale clans found to change location in ways similar to humans

first_img Citation: Sperm whale clans found to change location in ways similar to humans (2016, October 19) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2016-10-sperm-whale-clans-ways-similar.html More information: Mauricio Cantor et al. Cultural turnover among Galápagos sperm whales, Royal Society Open Science (2016). DOI: 10.1098/rsos.160615AbstractWhile populations may wax and wane, it is rare for an entire population to be replaced by a completely different set of individuals. We document the large-scale relocation of cultural groups of sperm whale off the Galápagos Islands, in which two sympatric vocal clans were entirely replaced by two different ones. Between 1985 and 1999, whales from two clans (called Regular and Plus-One) defined by cultural dialects in coda vocalizations were repeatedly photo-identified off Galápagos. Their occurrence in the area declined through the 1990s; by 2000, none remained. We reassessed Galápagos sperm whales in 2013–2014, identifying 463 new females. However, re-sighting rates were low, with no matches with the Galápagos 1985–1999 population, suggesting an eastward shift to coastal areas. Their vocal repertoires matched those of two other clans (called Short and Four-Plus) found across the Pacific but previously rare or absent around Galápagos. The mechanisms behind this cultural turnover may include large-scale environmental regime shifts favouring clan-specific foraging strategies, and a response to heavy whaling in the region involving redistribution of surviving whales into high-quality habitats. The fall and rise of sperm whale cultures off Galápagos reflect the structuring of the Pacific population into large, enduring clans with dynamic ranges. Long-lasting clan membership illustrates how culture can be bound up in the structure and dynamics of animal populations and so how tracking cultural traits can reveal large-scale population shifts. (Phys.org)—A small team of researchers with members from Dalhousie University, Aarhus University and the University of St. Andrews, has found that sperm whale clans living off the coast of the Galápagos Islands were replaced by two others over the course of a decade. In their paper uploaded to the open access site Royal Society Open Science, the team describes their study of the whales, what they learned and why they believe the behavior they observed suggests the whale clans have a form of culture. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. A mother sperm whale and her calf off the coast of Mauritius. The calf has remoras attached to its body. Credit: Gabriel Barathieu/Wikipedia/CC BY-SA 2.0 Explore furthercenter_img The researchers began studying the whales back in 1985, taking pictures of them to assist in identifying and tracking individual members and using sonar microphones to record the sounds they made to communicate with one another. After analyzing the recordings, the researchers concluded that the whales living in the area were actually two groups, or clans—each communicating in their own dialect, which the team calls their coda. They named the clans based on the recordings—the Regular Clan (because of their regular spaced clicks) and the Plus-One Clan (because their clicks were longer). The researchers continued to monitor the whales even they declined and then vanished altogether by 1999. The whales had not died, the researchers note; they simply emigrated to another part of the ocean off the coast of Chile and the Gulf of California. The researchers then began working on other projects until they heard reports in 2013 that the whales had returned. This caused the team to return to the islands to renew their study of the whales. But the group found that the whales living there were not the same ones that had been there before. There were two clans, but neither were members of the prior clans they had studied; both communicated with different dialects. As before, they named the clans based on their codas: the Short clan and the Four-Plus clan.The researchers do not know why the first two clans emigrated, but suggest it might have something to do with human hunting practices or changes in the food supply due to El Niño events. They also suggest that having one clan replace another that moved out of an area is a behavior that has only ever been seen before in humans. Journal information: Royal Society Open Science © 2016 Phys.org Study on Pacific sperm whales suggests culture isn’t just for humanslast_img read more

Art and social concern

first_imgThe colours, shapes and emotions have emerged from the very soul of the Capital city, and together they will converge at AIFACS this summer. As a part of a group exhibition titled Panorama, over 30 city-based artists will bring to the viewers a varying range of interpretations of raging contemporary issues from April 15 – 21.Curated by Priyanka Banerjee, Panorama, literally meaning an unbroken view of a subject, celebrates the talents of the fresh and the new, and makes a compelling case for contemporary art in the city. Some of the participating artists include Mridul Chakraborty, Kashi Nath Bose, Ganesh Panda, Biplab Biswas, Nilay Sarkar, Preeti Gautam, Shikha Bisht, Naseem Khan, Prince Chand,  Shamsun nisa, Rajeev Semwal,  Sheikh Abdullah,  Rashid Khan ,Darshan Sharma   Meghna Agarwal, Rohini Jain,Hamlet shougrakpam , Shalini Varshney, Amit Kumar,  Sadaf Khan, Neeraj Mitra, Ankita Ahlawat, Hariom, and Shipra Gupta, among others. The exhibition delves into contemporary issues of social relevance, such as feminism, ethical treatment of animals, spiritual harmony and so on.  Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Nature, for instance, is explored through mutually symbiotic relationship between the flora and fauna. Urbanisation and industrialisation have exploited the natural layer of our ecosystem, and its awareness becomes paramount to awaken our collective consciousness. As each artist touches upon subjects such as these that have paralysed the society, their canvas becomes a window for us all to explore the possibilities. This one-of-its-kind event is funded by the artists entirely on their own. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixSays curator Priyanka Banerjee, “Just the way a Panorama represents an entire worldview, this exhibition is a wholesome view of the thoughts of its many diverse yet like-minded artists. These artworks emote through vivid strokes – some are muted and some vibrant; together they create a surreal experience.”Dabbling in a diverse range of mediums, from watercolour, oils and pen and pencils to mixed media and sculpture, the artists bring to their canvas emotions that reverberate with social significance. Mridul Chakraborty depicts speed in the lives of human beings, while Rohini Jain’s paintings portray pigeons both symbolically and in abstract forms. Meghna Agarwal uses a variety of mediums to express ideas like power and permanence, while Nilay Sircar takes inputs from his surroundings, finding familiar elements across time and culture to create a new visual vocabulary and express the nuances of culture, folklore and history. Preeti Gautam chooses feminism as her subject to raise awareness about crime against women. Moreover, though from the same city, the artists’ personal training reflects national diversity. From Shantiniketan comes Hamlet Shougrakpam, while the prestigious Delhi College of Art finds its protégées in Meghna Agarwal, Md. Naseem Khan, Shipra Gupta and Rashid Khan. Calcutta Art College is represented by Nilay Sarkar. At the same time, self-taught artists such as Rohini Jain and Rajeev Semwal bring to the viewers a distinct set of skills that have set them on par with the professionals.When: April 15 – 21 Where: AIFACS, 1-RAFI MARGTiming: 11am to 7 pmlast_img read more

Campaign for byelection in four Assembly constituencies concludes

first_imgKolkata: Campaign in four Assembly constituencies where by-election will be held on May 19, came to an end on Friday afternoon. By-election in Nowda and Kandi Assembly seats will be held on May 20.The seats at Bhatpara, Islampur, Darjeeling and Habibpur (ST) seats fell vacant as the MLAs who had been elected from these seats in 2016 are contesting in the Lok Sabha polls. Bhatpara Assembly seat under Barrackpore Lok Sabha seat has drawn maximum attention where Madan Mitra of Trinamool Congress is contesting against Pawan Singh of BJP. The seat fell vacant after Arjun Singh, former Trinamool Congress MLA left the party and to contest on BJP ticket in the Lok Sabha poll. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataMitra won the by-election from Bishnupur (West) seat in 2009. In 2011, when Mamata Banerjee came to power, he was elected from Kamarhati and became the Transport minister in Banerjee’s Cabinet. He got involved in multi-crore Sarada scam and resigned. He lost the Assembly election in 2016. Mitra is confident about his victory. Binay Tamang is contesting as a Gorkha Jana Murti Morcha from Darjeeling Assembly seat. The seat fell vacant after Amar Singh Rai went on to contest as a Trinamool candidate in the Lok Sabha election. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateAbdul Karim Chowdhury of Trinamool is contesting in the by election from Islampur seat that falls under Raigunj Lok Sabha seat. MLA Kanaia Lal Agarwal is contesting in the Lok Sabha from Raigung seat. Amal Kishku of Trinamool is contesting from Habibpur (ST) seat. The by-election in Nowda and Kandi Assembly seats will be held on May 20. The MLA from Nowda in Murshidabad district, Abu Taher Khan is contesting in Lok Sabha seat. Apurba Sarkar who was the MLA from Kandi is contesting against his mentor Adhir Chowdhury in Berhampur seat.last_img read more

2 arrested for running cricket betting racket in Kolkata

first_imgKolkata: Two persons have been arrested for running a cricket betting racket here, Kolkata Police said on Sunday. Based on prior information, a team of the Kolkata Police conducted a raid at a residence in Rabindra Sarani and arrested Rajkumar Lihala, 54, and Amit Kumar Gupta, 24, on Saturday, an officer said. Two mobile phones, a television and cash amounting to Rs 1,02,200 were recovered from their possession, the officer said.last_img