Exchanging whale songs
Does every whale sing differently? Of course, but often the whale songs somehow resemble each other. Researchers have now found the reason behind this.
Male humpback whales are renowned for their singing. They sing to try to attract females or to prevail over their rivals. It is also known that the humpback whales repeatedly change the way they sing and use passages from other whales’ songs, until all the males in a group sing the same song. A research team from Scotland has now discovered that whales share their songs in certain regions. These “exchanges” take place on the way between the winter quarters of the whales at the north and south pole and the warm seas close to the equator.
The scientists listened to the meetings and then recorded the songs of the arriving humpback whales. They were very diverse. Afterwards, they listened to the males in their different winter quarters. The singing was similar and distinctly influenced by the songs of other whales. The conclusion of the scientists. The meeting place is the hotspot, where the whales share and unify their songs.