There is nothing quite like the sight of a majestic whale rising from the sea, and nothing quite like its plaintive song. But beyond whales’ mastery of ocean aesthetics, they are also immensely intelligent animals, demonstrating highly evolved social behavior and communication methods. Some whale species like humpbacks, sperm whales, and belugas even have spindle neurons, which are currently thought to be found in only humans, apes, macaques, elephants, racoons, and other cetaceans like the bottlenose dolphin. Long as they are, spindle neurons may have developed for animals with comparably large brains, especially cetaceans; sperm whale brains are the largest on Earth, weighing about 17 pounds. Because cetaceans have three times more spindle neurons than humans, this might be a vital clue to understanding their intelligence.
For 48 hours or so, we’re going to pay a visit to a very special whale, the Wise Whale whose knowledge is great. She’s wondering what you know as well, specifically about marine biology, oceanography, and neuroscience. Swim up alongside, listen to her sing, and think hard about what to sing back.
Trivia How-To: The bot will start firing off questions at 11:00 AM EST on 2/17 and continue until 11:00 AM EST on 2/19, at which point things will finish with a power hour till noon. Submit your answers by typing them into the chat box. Optional: you may submit answers privately by messaging @WiseWhale if you do not want other players to see your responses. To do this, type /pm WiseWhale before your message.
Swag (generously sponsored by @susi): The top scoring player will win 1 tote bag and 1 sticker sheet! Second and third place each also win sticker sheets.
Bonuses for each question
1st to answer – 300 points
2nd to answer – 200 points
3rd to answer – 100 points
Artwork by Daniela Gamba