Science: The Chattering Whale

"If you see any sperm whales, try to listen to them, will you?" These were about the last words heard by the crew of the research vessel Atlantis before casting off last spring from the Woods Hole (Mass.) Oceanographic Institution on a voyage to trace currents in the Atlantic. They were shouted at dockside by tall (6 ft. 1 in.), intense Harvard Zoologist William Edward Schevill.

No one was startled by Schevill's request. He is always asking colleagues to eavesdrop on sperm whales—not when the whales are puffing and blowing on the surface, but while they are submerged. Schevill wants to pin...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!