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I recently asked this question on Biology Stack Exchange but didn’t get any answers.

Russell Arnott, apparently an oceanographer, who currently works as a project manager at the Sainsbury Laboratory, Cambridge University (UK), wrote in his piece Whales and Waves (2016, p.2):

New research from the DAREWIN Institute postulates that once a whale has obtained an image of an object using sound, it can then send a holographic image of what they saw to another whale using sound. That’s like sending a 3D-picture to your friend using only your face.

Although that article is available on Academia.edu, and Russell Arnott does indeed apparently currently work for Cambridge University, the article is not from a published academic journal. With my meagre understanding of biology I've tried to hunt down articles on this in peer reviewed journals or academic books but have drawn a blank.

Is there any published research which suggests [including in the sense that it postulates it] that whales may be able to send each other three-dimensional images, or in fact, images of any sort at all?


A commenter asks whether if they say "It was shaped like a cube" they have sent an image.

Here's the answer:

If I send you an image you don't need to speak the same language as me to decode it, because it is an image. If I send you a photo of a dog that attacked me you know what the dog looks like. If, instead, I tell you "a dog attacked me" , you may self-instigate (or not) an image of a dog, but you have no idea what it looks like, precisely because I did not send you an image of it

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    IDK about the DAREWIN Institute but the Darewin Project page looks as though one person is behind it, because of the link that says "Contact me". It also says "© 2015 click research" but when I google that (as distinct from clicks research) the webpage the site has been suspended, whatever that means. It's the same domain as the 'contact me' email link. Note the key word postulates. Jun 19 at 17:04
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    This is not exactly the sort of claim that you might wish. Since the research only postulates it in the claim, we'd only be able to confirm that that's what's being postulated, not that there's a confirmation for that being the reality. Jun 19 at 17:41
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    No, that isn't a "DAREWIN Institute". The name appears on none of its pages (not even the word 'Institute'), nor is there any credible contact information. To me, it comes across as one person pushing their pet theory. Jun 19 at 22:42
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    If you don't know how the raw data is transformed into an image it doesn't matter what you use. You still need to know how to do the transformation and we have no way of communicating with wales to know if our guesses are correct or not.
    – Joe W
    Jun 20 at 2:19
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    Is the text you've put into quote indent in the question a quote from someone else, or just yourself? Because it doesn't really matter what you think constitutes "sending an image"; what matters is what the researchers being referenced meant by "sending an image".
    – IMSoP
    Jun 20 at 18:55

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