A montage shows pictures of Kim Kardashian and an orca. Scientists have found that toothed whales can produce a vocal fry, just like Kardashian.
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images; iStock / Getty Images Plus
Toothed whales can use vocal registers like humans to communicate and hunt.
Like Kim Kardashian, whales have a “vocal fry” which can be used to find prey in deep sea.
At that depth, the whales’ lungs collapse, so they use air trapped in their nose to communicate.
One of Kim Kardashian’s trademarks is her vocal fry, a creaky voice affectation that studies have suggested is deeply polarising for humans.
But a new study has found that actors and celebrities aren’t the only ones to use voice modulation to impress — toothed whales like dolphins, orcas, and sperm whales, are also able to create a vocal fry.
In their case, it’s a vital tool that allows them to hunt even in the depths of the ocean.
And to do so, they use a newly-discovered set of lips, that was hiding in their nose the whole time.
A vocal fry is a crucial tool for deep-diving whales
A pilot whale, a toothed whale, coming up from a deep dive searching for food with echolocation.
Credit line: Francis Perez
To be able to do the characteristic valley girl vocal fry espoused by Kardashian, Britney Spears, Paris Hilton, and others, you need to be able to modulate your voice.
“Vocal fry is a normal voice register that is often used in American English. Kim Kardashian, Kate Perry and
Scarlet Johannsen are well-known people using this register”, said Coen Elemans, professor of sound communication and behavior at the University of Southern Sweden and an author on the study, in a press release.
“Registers basically means very distinct ways of vibrating the same vocal cords,” added Elemans in an interview with Insider.
Humans typically have access to three registers: the heady, high-pitched falsetto, the normal voice, and the chesty voice, which is where the vocal fry lives.
By analyzing the sounds that the whales made, the scientists who worked on the study found that the whales use very similar modulation in their voice. This gives them access to falsetto, which allows them to make their high-pitched whistles, and the chesty, vocal fry range, which is how they make echolocation.
Still, there was a puzzle that this didn’t solve. Scientists have always been quizzical about how whales could echolocate at huge depths.
Sperm whales and beaked whales …read more
Source:: Business Insider