by Gilda Davidian

Listen to acoustic biologist Katy Payne speak about the importance of listening, the constantly evolving songs of whales and the immensely emotional lives of elephants on Whale Songs and Elephant Loves from Speaking of Faith.

Some things:

Whale songs are made up of a distinct sequence of groans, moans, roars, sighs and high pitched squeals that may last up to 10 minutes or longer. These songs are used to communicate with other whales, as a way to identify one another, to navigate through space, and to warn others of threats. Listen here.

Elephants have a similar range of emotions to human beings are said to be (at times, in ways) more emotional. The birth of offspring and moments of reuniting after spells of separation are occasions of much joy for elephants. They also grieve deeply for their lost ones. When an elephant walks past a place that a loved one has died, they will stop and take a silent pause that can last several minutes. Read more about it here.