[MARMAM] new publication on humpback whale song

Adam Pack pack at hawaii.edu
Mon Feb 14 16:11:28 PST 2011

Aloha Colleagues:

On behalf of my co-authors, I pleased to announce the publication of  
the following paper on humpback whale song.

"Green, S. R., Mercado, E. III, Pack, A. A, & Herman, L. M. (2011).   
Recurring patterns in the songs of humpback whales (Megaptera  
novaeangliae), Behavioural Processes, 86, 284-294.

The abstract is presented below:

Humpback whales, unlike most mammalian species, learn new songs as  
adults. Populations of singers
progressively and collectively change the sounds and patterns within  
their songs throughout their lives
and across generations. In this study, humpback whale songs recorded  
in Hawaii from 1985 to 1995
were analyzed using self-organizing maps (SOMs) to classify the sounds  
within songs, and to identify
sound patterns that were present across multiple years. These analyses  
supported the hypothesis that
recurring, persistent patterns exist within whale songs, and that  
these patterns are defined at least in part
by acoustic relationships between adjacent sounds within songs. Sound  
classification based on acoustic
differences between adjacent sounds yielded patterns within songs that  
were more consistent from year
to year than classifications based on the properties of single  
sounds.  Maintenance of fixed ratios of acoustic
modulation across sounds, despite large variations in individual  
sounds, suggests intrinsic constraints on
how sounds change within songs. Such acoustically invariant cues may  
enable whales to recognize and
assess variations in songs despite propagation-related distortion of  
individual sounds and yearly changes
in songs.

Pdfs copies can be obtained from the lead author Sean Green at srgreenub at yahoo.com

Best regards,

Adam Pack
Adam A. Pack, Ph.D.
Associate Professor Psychology & Biology
University of Hawaii at Hilo

Mailing Address:
Psychology Department
University of Hawaii at Hilo
200 West Kawili St.
Hilo, Hawaii 96720

Voice: 808-375-7892
email: pack at hawaii.edu

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