Different Humpback Whale Groups Meet To Jam

Automatic TRANSCRIPT

This is scientific Americans sixty seconds science. I'm Jason Goldman. Male humpback whales are the concert singers of the marine world these ocean giants belt out tunes that can be heard perhaps hundreds of miles away the songs attract, friends and lovers and maybe keep rivals at bay. And now we learned that humpbacks in different ocean basins, the south Atlantic and the Indian on opposite sides of the African continent. Share melodies that song that my lunch between individuals folk today, the best example of cars onto cultural transition from peer to peer rather than from parent offering Melinda rectal marine conservation, scientists with the wildlife. Conservation society's ocean giants program. The International Whaling Commission has identified seven distinct humpback whale breeding populations in the southern hemisphere. These are whales that meet up in the same warm tropical waters each year to mate and give birth. But when mating season is over. Whales migrate to Chile polar regions to gorge on krill using genetics and photographic surveys of migrating humpbacks, researchers know that males in these colder feeding areas interact with other males from different breeding populations. But scientists did not know this meet up provides the whales with the opportunity to have vocal jam sessions where they trade melodies and the amount of song overlap between the whales that breed off 'gabon in the Atlantic. And those that breed near Madagascar in the Indian Ocean varies year to year. That's according to a study of more than fifteen hundred individual sounds that were recorded between two thousand one and two thousand five the results are in the journal, Royal Society opened science that might sense that in some years that may be different Asian graphic conditions. Patchily distributed pry that my name populations individuals have to move the to find food and that might bring them into classic context with neighboring populations and Philip song exchange. The fundings present researchers with new opportunities to understand how culture is transmitted among animals, but it also allows even greater insight into the workings of populations of humpback whales it shines the connectivity potentially on the times go, which is what genetic information doesn't genetic data can show the different populations had historical interactions but songs can reveal how to populations interact on a much faster time scale. But combine. Ending song information from these populations with Wales. That breed off the Atlantic coast of Brazil rectal, says researchers can gain more comprehensive understanding the dynamics of global humpback whale culture back while it's an incredibly in a complex display. It quite amazing. How complex it is. And how it that shooting? Amazing example of culture in in animals. Thanks for listening for scientific Americans. Sixty seconds science. I'm Jason Goldman.

Coming up next