[MARMAM] New publication - Fin whale song evolution in the North Atlantic

Miriam Romagosa m.romagosa4 at gmail.com
Fri Jan 12 03:51:20 PST 2024

Dear Marmam subscribers,

We are pleased to announce the publication of the following article in the
eLife journal:

Romagosa, M., Nieukirk, S., Cascão, I., Marques, TA., Dziak, R.,  Royer,
JY. O'Brien, J., Mellinger, DK, Pereira, A., Ugalde, A., Papale, E.,
Aniceto, S., Buscaino, G., Rasmussen, M.,  Matias, L., Prieto, R. and
Silva, MA. (2024) Fin whale song evolution in the North Atlantic. eLife
13:e83750. https://doi.org/10.7554/eLife.83750

Abstract:   Animal songs can change within and between populations as the
result of different evolutionary processes. When these processes include
cultural transmission, the social learning of information or behaviours
from conspecifics, songs can undergo rapid evolutions because cultural
novelties can emerge more frequently than genetic mutations. Understanding
these song variations over large temporal and spatial scales can provide
insights into the patterns, drivers and limits of song evolution that can
ultimately inform on the species’ capacity to adapt to rapidly changing
acoustic environments. Here, we analysed changes in fin whale (Balaenoptera
physalus) songs recorded over two decades across the central and eastern
North Atlantic Ocean. We document a rapid replacement of song INIs
(inter-note intervals) over just four singing seasons, that co-occurred
with hybrid songs (with both INIs), and a clear geographic gradient in the
occurrence of different song INIs during the transition period. We also
found gradual changes in INIs and note frequencies over more than a decade
with fin whales adopting song changes. These results provide evidence of
vocal learning in fin whales and reveal patterns of song evolution that
raise questions on the limits of song variation in this species.

Kind regards,

Miriam Romagosa, PhD
Azores Whale Lab – Cetacean Ecology group
Okeanos – Instituto de Investigação em Ciências do Mar
University of the Azores
Rua Prof Dr. Frederico Machado 4
9901-862 Horta, Azores, Portugal

Phone: (+351) 292200400
Email: m.romagosa4 at gmail.com
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