Tuesday: Humpback whales at Cafe Scientifique


When they're hunting herring, humpback whales cooperate in groups of up to 20. One creates a cylindrical curtain of bubbles around the herring to prevent their escape while the others make sounds to confuse them and drive them to the surface, according to a National Geographic description.

Social intelligence among humpback whales is a topic of primary interest to Fred Sharpe, the executive director and principal investigator of the Alaska Whale Foundation and an award-winning naturalist.

At 6 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 12, Mr. Sharpe will present "Humpback Whales: Team Hunting & Social Intelligence" at the headquarters of SRI Menlo Park in the International Building at Middlefield Road and Ringwood Ave.

Go to for directions, information on parking, and other details. Doors open at 5:15 p.m. and close when the room reaches capacity.

The event includes a drawing for a $30 gift certificate for Kepler's Books at 1010 El Camino Real in Menlo Park. Kepler's adds the names of drawing participants to its mailing list.

Cafe Scientifique, sponsored by the pharmaceutical firm ROXRO PHARMA and SRI, is a monthly meeting at which the public can explore and debate scientific and technological issues in a non-academic setting.

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