january, 2019

22jan7:00 pmDo Beluga Whales Have 'Names'?Final Ocean Matters January Lecture


Event Details

Do Beluga Whales Have Different ‘Names’ for Each Other?

Beluga whales are highly sociable animals, traveling, hunting and playing together. Therefore, beluga whales need the ability to find each other when they are lost or separated from their pod. They do this by calling to each other. However, not all of these ‘contact calls’ are the same. Beluga whales make a large number of unique and complex calls when attempting to locate each other.

Brand new research from Ocean Wise, indicates that the reason why there are so many different ‘contact calls’ is because each different call is used to identify and contact distinct individuals – similar to how each human being has its own individual name!

Come and learn about this cutting edge science and how the data on wild beluga calls was actually collected.

About The Speaker

Dr. Valeria Vergara is the lead researcher on this study and has been eavesdropping on whales for years! From the Vancouver Aquarium to Hudson Bay, from the Canadian Arctic to the St. Lawrence Estuary, she has listened to the communication sounds made by belugas in diverse environments. She directs studies on beluga whales and other Arctic marine mammals through the Marine Mammal Research Program at Ocean Wise. Valeria Vergara’s ground-breaking doctorate research at the University of British Columbia was the first to document how beluga calves develop their rich repertoire of vocalizations and to identify contact calls critical for maintaining cohesion within the group and mother-calf contact. Her studies allow her to address the problems that this sound-centered species faces in an increasingly noisy environment.


When? Tuesday 22nd January @ 7pm (doors 6.30pm)
Price: Free, but register to guarantee your seat
Accessibility: This event is wheelchair accessible Gender neutral and accessible bathrooms located in Clownfish Cove.
ASL Interpreter: Yes (supplied by WIDDH)
Location: The Vancouver Aquarium – Enter at Aquaquest Reception


(Tuesday) 7:00 pm PST


Vancouver Aquarium