Whale “Pop Song” Sweeps the Ocean

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Listening for one Whale of a song.

Just like humans, whales also have “pop songs,” complete with music mania that sweeps across the ocean:

The findings are based on 11 years of recordings from underwater microphones slung over the sides of boats, which were collected by marine biologist Ellen Garland of the University of Queensland in Australia and colleagues. Picking out the patterns took a while; the team had to listen to 745 songs in total from six whale populations across the South Pacific over the 11-year period. The researchers identified 11 distinctly different styles (audio). Sometimes the “hit song” contained snippets from previous seasons, sometimes it was entirely revolutionary…

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Loneliest Whale in the World Sings at the Wrong Frequency

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World’s loneliest whale. 

We’ve heard about whales suffering from loneliness due to overhunting. There’s simply fewer of their species for them to communicate with. But what about a whale who sings at the wrong frequency? One whale, recorded since 1989 and tracked since 1992, sings at a frequency of 51.75 Hz, whereas others of her kind sing at 15 to 25 Hz. She’s lonely because no one else can hear her.

 

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Whales Forced to Shout as Oceans Get Noisier

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Can you hear me now?

As anybody who’s ever gone to a dance club knows, it’s not easy to have quality conversation in loud places — but party-goers aren’t the only ones who have learned to cope with the clamor. According to marine biologists studying whale mating calls, an increasingly noisy ocean is forcing the animals to shout their romantic melodies — around 10 times louder than they did 50 years ago. Talk about a raucous orca-stra!

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Valley Of The Whales

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Summon the Basilosaurus!

Paleontologist Philip Gingerich looks for sea monsters in the Egyptian desert. He assembles fossils of ancient whales that died there when it was covered by an ocean. One such whale is the Basilosaurus, which had small hind legs.

“Complete specimens like that Basilosaurus are Rosetta stones,” Gingerich told me as we drove back to his field camp. “They tell us vastly more about how the animal lived than fragmentary remains.”

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The Whale Whisperer

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Hello? What’s up today?

Andrew Armour, the owner of Kubuli Watersports on the island of Dominica, has been called the ‘whale whisperer’ for his ability to communicate with the local sperm whales.

“Once I’m in the water I try to reach them acoustically by making this noise in the water, and it’s the same noise all the time so they know it’s me,” he says. “So I’m talking to them all the time in the water, and they start coming.”

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Dolphin And Whale Mate To Create A ‘Wolphin’

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If life on Earth was not strange enough, nature occasionally throws a very unusual creation into the genetic mix.

This ‘wolphin’ and ‘Shetbra’ are two examples of rare hybrids created when animals have mated across the species divide.

Although it is extremely rare, animals occasionally succeed in producing offspring with mates from closely related species. Scientists believe some actively try to mate outside their own species to increase the diversity of their wild populations.

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