The northern lights might be a brilliant spectacle for some, but they spelled doom for some unfortunate sperm whales.
A insightful incursion into the lives of sperm whales shows just how similar these gentle marine giants are to us. Not only do these highly social animals communicate through a language, made up of patterned sets of clicks called codas, but they also have dialects. These dialects may be unique to each clan of sperm whales, which may include thousands of individuals. Moreover, the language is learned and not inherently transmitted – a prime example of culture, if anything else.