Monday, June 17, 2019

Big Picture Science for June 17, 2019 - You've Got Whale

Big Picture Science - You've Got Whale

(Repeat)  SMS isn’t the original instant messaging system.  Plants can send chemical warnings through their leaves in a fraction of a second.  And while we love being in the messaging loop – frenetically refreshing our browsers – we miss out on important conversations that no Twitter feed or inbox can capture. That’s because eavesdropping on the communications of non-human species requires the ability to decode their non-written signals.

Dive into Arctic waters where scientists make first-ever recordings of the socializing clicks and squeals of narwhals, and find out how climate shifts may pollute their acoustic landscape.  Also, why the chemical defense system of plants has prompted one biologist to give greenery an “11 on the scale of awesomeness.” And, you can’t see them, but they sure can sense one another: how communicating microbes plan their attack.

  • Susanna Blackwell – Bio-acoustician with Greeneridge Sciences. Hear her recordings of narwhals here.
  • Simon Gilroy – Professor of botany, University of Wisconsin, Madison. His video of glowing green caterpillar-munched plants can be viewed here.
  • Peter Greenberg – Professor of microbiology, University of Washington, Seattle

This repeat podcast was previously released on 10/29/2018

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You can listen to this and other episodes at, and be sure to check out Blog Picture Science, the companion blog to the radio show.

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