[MARMAM] FW: "Non-song acoustic communication in migrating humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae)"

Rebecca Dunlop r.dunlop at uq.edu.au
Wed Aug 13 16:35:54 PDT 2008


Dear colleagues,
The following paper has recently been published:
 "Non-song acoustic communication in migrating humpback whales
(Megaptera novaeangliae)"

Marine Mammal Science, 24(3), 613 - 629


Humpback whales are renowned for the complex structured songs produced
by males. A second, relatively understudied area of humpback acoustic
communication concerns un-patterned sounds known as 'social sounds',
produced by both males and females.  These include vocalizations as well
as sounds produced at the surface of the water as a result of surface
behaviors (e.g. breaching, pectoral slapping).  This study describes a
portion of the non-song social sound repertoire of southward migrating
humpbacks in Australian waters, and explores the social relevance of
these sounds.  On migration, humpback whales travel in social groups of
varying compositions and social groups are not stable in that humpback
whales continually change group composition by splitting from, or
joining with, other groups.  'Breaching' and 'slapping' were suggested
to have a communicative function.  Other sounds such as 'underwater
blows' and 'cries' were heard mainly in competitive groups whilst other
low-frequency sounds such as 'grumbles', 'snorts', 'thwops' and 'wops'
may function in intra or inter-group communication.  Particular sounds
('grunts', 'groans' and 'barks') were almost exclusive to joining pods
suggesting a role in social integration.    Results suggest social
sounds in humpbacks have specific social and behavioral functions
relating to social group composition, and the mediation of interactions
between these social groups.  


Pdf files of the paper are available from the Marine Mammal Science
website or from r.dunlop at uq.edu.au


Rebecca Dunlop



Rebecca Dunlop  BSc PhD

Cetacean Ecology and Acoustics Laboratory
School of Veterinary Science
University of Queensland
St Lucia, Qld 4072, Australia

Ph. (07)3365-3066   Mob. 0437434041
Fax. (07)3365-1255  Email r.dunlop at uq.edu.au


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