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      Song of the humpback whale ? Population comparisons

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      Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology

      Springer Nature

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          Songs of humpback whales.

          1) Humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) produce a series of beautiful and varied sounds for a period of 7 to 30 minutes and then repeat the same series with considerable precision. We call such a performance "singing" and each repeated series of sounds a "song." 2) All prolonged sound patterns (recorded so far) of this species are in song form, and each individual adheres to its own song type. 3) There seem to be several song types around which whales construct their songs, but individual variations are pronounced (there is only a very rough species-specific song pattern). 4) Songs are repeated without any obvious pause between them; thus song sessions may continue for several hours. 5) The sequence of themes in successive songs by the same individual is the same. Although the number of phrases per theme varies, no theme is ever completely omitted in our sample. 6) Loud sounds in the ocean, for example dynamite blasts, do not seem to affect the whale's songs. 7) The sex of the performer of any of the songs we have studied is unknown. 8) The function of the songs is unknown.
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            The song of the humpback whale Megaptera novaeangliae in the West Indies

             L. K. Winn,  H. Winn (1978)
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              Author and article information

              Journal
              Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology
              Behav Ecol Sociobiol
              Springer Nature
              0340-5443
              1432-0762
              February 1981
              February 1981
              : 8
              : 1
              : 41-46
              Article
              10.1007/BF00302842
              © 1981
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