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Blue whales align the pitch of their songs with extreme accuracy, study finds
Date:8/2/2010

said. The Doppler shift is the apparent increase or decrease in pitch that is heard when the source of sound is moving toward or away from an individual, for example the change in pitch heard when a vehicle with a siren passes by.

Previous research has suggested that the blue whale song is produced only by males, and appears to be sung when the whales are traveling. "Given that blue whales can travel up to 5 meters per second, it's feasible that females could locate calling males by listening for the changes in the male's pitch," Bland said.

Underwater recordings were captured at the Pioneer Seamount Underwater Observatory, 50 miles off the California coast, over a three-month period in 2001.

The study's results are consistent with recent research suggesting that blue whales across the world have decreased their pitch over the last few decades. "We found the frequency of the B call to be 16 Hz in 2001, which fits well with the downward trending curve that has been observed in previous research."


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Contact: Elaine Bible
ebible@sfsu.edu
415-405-3606
San Francisco State University
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2

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