With a non-human (aquatic) intelligence.
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Today’s edition of News Items is somewhat abbreviated. The editor will be in the shop shortly for routine maintenance.
1. A team of scientists from the SETI Institute, University of California Davis and the Alaska Whale Foundation, had a close encounter with a non-human (aquatic) intelligence. The Whale-SETI team has been studying humpback whale communication systems in an effort to develop intelligence filters for the search for extraterrestrial intelligence. In response to a recorded humpback ‘contact’ call played into the sea via an underwater speaker, a humpback whale named Twain approached and circled the team’s boat, while responding in a conversational style to the whale ‘greeting signal.’ During the 20-minute exchange, Twain responded to each playback call and matched the interval variations between each signal. A description and analysis of the encounter appears in a recent issue of the journal Peer J. entitled: “Interactive Bioacoustic Playback as a Tool for Detecting and Exploring Nonhuman Intelligence: ‘Conversing’ with an Alaskan Humpback Whale.” “We believe this is the first such communicative exchange between humans and humpback whales in the humpback “language,” said lead author Dr. Brenda McCowan of U.C. Davis. “Humpback whales are extremely intelligent, have complex social systems, make tools – nets out of bubbles to catch fish -, and communicate extensively with both songs and social calls,” said coauthor Dr. Fred Sharpe of the Alaska Whale Foundation. (Sources: astrobiology.com, peerj.com)