What Do Whales Hear?

Whales perceive sounds in a much higher frequency than humans are able to hear, often around 120 kilohertz. Whales hear sounds as vibrations in the water around them.

Whales have special fat layers in their lower jawbones that pick up high frequencies, transmitting them to their inner middle ears so that the whales can hear. Whales have small ear openings that allow them to pick up much higher sound waves than those perceivable by human ears. Whales communicate in a manner similar to that of dolphins – sometimes with high-pitched clicks and sometimes using low rumbles. Few other creatures can hear some of the sounds that whales produce.