Brownies support whales and dolphins

11 April 2018

Bowhead Whales Are Creative And Enthusiastic Singers

Recent studies recording bowhead whales singing all winter long under the Arctic ice have revealed they are creative singers. Bowhead whales sing loudly from November to April during 24-hour darkness of the polar winter, under the ice-covered sea. 

Unlike other types of whale, bowheads produce lots of songs each year, their songs are rich with variation and they sing many, many, different ones. Bowhead whale songs completely change within years and between years. Scientists have recorded an incredible 184 distinct melodies over a three year period.

Bowheads have the greatest number and assortment of songs of all whales and they clearly love to improvise.   In fact the diversity and variability of their songs is rivalled only by a few species of songbirds!

More research is required to further understand the purpose for the whales’ calls and the reason for their diversity. It is also not yet known if both males and females sing or, as in humpbacks, it is the males singing.

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