[MARMAM] New publication: Allopatric humpback whales share repertoire

AWF's Rapunzel Project therapunzelproject at gmail.com
Mon Jul 30 10:19:09 PDT 2018

Hello Marmam Community,

On behalf of my co-authors and myself we'd like to share a new publication
on humpback whale repertoire overlap in allopatric populations.  The full
manuscript can be found on PeerJ here: https://peerj.com/articles/5365

More of the same: allopatric humpback whale populations share acoustic

Michelle E.H. Fournet, Lauren Jacobsen, Christine M. Gabriele, David K.
Mellinger, Holger Klinck

Background: Humpback whales (*Megaptera novaeangliae*) are a widespread,
vocal baleen whale best known for producing song, a complex, repetitive,
geographically distinct acoustic signal sung by males, predominantly in a
breeding context. Humpback whales worldwide also produce non-song
vocalizations (“calls”) throughout their migratory range, some of which are
stable across generations. Methods: We looked for evidence that temporally
stable call types are shared by two allopatric humpback whale populations
while on their northern hemisphere foraging grounds in order to test the
hypothesis that some calls, in strong contrast to song, are innate within
the humpback whale acoustic repertoire. Results: Despite being
geographically and genetically distinct populations, humpback whales in
Southeast Alaska (North Pacific Ocean) share at least five call types with
conspecifics in Massachusetts Bay (North Atlantic Ocean). Discussion:This
study is the first to identify call types shared by allopatric populations,
and provides evidence that some call types may be innate.


Michelle EH Fournet, PhD

Postdoctoral Researcher
Cornell Lab of Ornithology
Bioacoustics Research Program
michelle.fournet at gmail.com
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