Whales are great singers!
Click on the picture to watch a video where our partner Dr. Ellen Garland tells you more aboout whale song transmission.
Humpbacks males in each ocean basin have a distinctive song, and every year it changes in subtle ways. Males will sign to attract a female or repel a rival male. In the SPREP region, these song changes can be tracked, sometimes over several years, as they spread across the ocean from west to east. One of the most interesting features of humpback song is that it changes in subtle ways every year – a few whales will introduce a new phrase, often from an adjacent breeding ground, and it will quickly be adopted by the other males. It is akin to what people would call fashion, and is an example of cultural transmission. Some of the songs will become more popular than others and whales will keep singing them while traveling in the region.
Listen to some of their great hit songs: