Minke whales have babies

Federal Agency for Nature Conservation BfN

For example, did you know that dolphins call each other by name? Or that beluga whales are also called the "canaries of the seas" because they make so many different sounds? Unfortunately, we don't know what they are telling each other. Scientists have only deciphered a very small part of the language of the whales. No one has yet succeeded in speaking "Welsh".

What we do know, however, is that whales have distinctive social behavior. Sperm whales, for example, protect an injured conspecific by encircling them. Some whale species hunt in teams with other species and even use tools. Did you know, for example, that orcas use a clever trick to outsmart seals who believe they are safe on ice floes?

How intelligent are whales really?

Even if all of these are signs of intelligence - the whales are still not intelligence beasts. They use tools and sometimes develop amazing hunting strategies, but so do other animals. Some dolphins have also learned amazing skills in captivity. Still, whales have a hard time with what scientists call "abstract". Those who can "abstract" also understand connections that they cannot see or touch at the moment - for example math problems or things that will only happen in the future. Chimpanzees are superior to them. But one thing is certain: whales are fascinating mammals that have adapted perfectly to life in the water.