Navigation Links
Music with dinner: Whales sing during foraging season, not just while breeding

Humpback whales might be expected to take their food seriously given their enormous size, but a new study shows that they may multi-task as they eat, singing mating or breeding songs as they forage in their Antarctic feeding grounds. The research, published December 19 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Alison Stimpert from the Naval Postgraduate School and colleagues, sheds new light on the whales' singing habits in different seasons, which are still a mystery.

Whales sing most frequently during the breeding season but are known to sing on other occasions, such as while escorting mother-calf pairs along migratory routes. Though the reasons that whales sing are still unknown, the distinction between their seasonal behaviors is clear. Breeding, migration and foraging occur in different regions and times of the year, and rarely overlap.

In the current study, the researchers tracked ten whales to study singing behavior in their foraging grounds. They found that all ten sang while foraging, but two of the whales showed intense, continuous bouts of singing similar to what the researchers expected to see in breeding grounds. They also found the whales sang for up to an hour at a time and during active diving periods.

AUDIO: This is audio for Stimpert AK, Peavey LE, Friedlaender AS, Nowacek DP (2012) Humpback Whale Song and Foraging Behavior on an Antarctic Feeding Ground. PLoS ONE 7(12): e51214. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0051214...

Click here for more information.

According to the authors, their data reveal a previously unknown behavioral flexibility, where humpbacks can balance the competing needs to feed continuously to prepare for breeding with mating behaviors like song displays. They suggest that this may also signify an ability to engage in breeding activities outside of the traditional, warm water breeding ground locations. Stimpert adds, "We were surprised to find such structured song in the Antarctic feeding ground. The tag data are also exciting because this is the first time that we can see that the singers aren't sitting off by themselves like they do on the breeding grounds -- they're right in the midst of the feeding action, choosing to sing instead."

AUDIO: This is audio for Stimpert AK, Peavey LE, Friedlaender AS, Nowacek DP (2012) Humpback Whale Song and Foraging Behavior on an Antarctic Feeding Ground. PLoS ONE 7(12): e51214. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0051214....

Click here for more information.


Contact: One Press
Public Library of Science

Related biology news :

1. Musical duets lock brains as well as rhythms
2. The music of the silks
3. Music to the Ears for a Good Nights Sleep?
4. Music to the ears for a good nights sleep?
5. Fast food restaurant lighting and music can reduce calorie intake and increase satisfaction
6. New musical pacifier helps premature babies get healthy
7. The music of the (hemi)spheres sheds new light on schizophrenia
8. Multi-tasking whales sing while feeding, not just breeding
9. Eating right key to survival of whales and dolphins: UBC research
10. Long menopause allows killer whales to care for adult sons
11. New DNA-method tracks fish and whales in seawater
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Music with dinner: Whales sing during foraging season, not just while breeding 
(Date:11/12/2015)... , Nov. 12, 2015  Arxspan has ... of MIT and Harvard for use of its ... information management tools. The partnership will support the ... biological and chemical research information internally and with ... be used for managing the Institute,s electronic laboratory ...
(Date:11/10/2015)... YORK , Nov. 10, 2015 ... to behavioral biometrics that helps to identify and ... fraud. Signature is considered as the secure and ... the identification of a particular individual because each ... more accurate results especially when dynamic signature of ...
(Date:11/2/2015)...  SRI International has been awarded a contract of ... to the National Cancer Institute (NCI) PREVENT Cancer Program ... modern testing and support facilities, and analytical instrumentation to ... studies to evaluate potential cancer prevention drugs. ... Drug Development Program is an NCI-supported pipeline to bring ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... 2015 , ... International Society for Pharmaceutical Engineering (ISPE) closed ... events for pharmaceutical manufacturing: 2015 Annual Meeting. The conference took place in Philadelphia, ... number of attendees in more than a decade. , “The 2015 Annual ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... This fall, global software ... events in five states to develop and pitch their BIG ideas to improve health ... state are competing for votes to win the title of SAP's Teen Innovator, an ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... Technologies Ltd. (OTCQB: TIKRF) today announced that its Annual General Meeting of ... Israel time, at the law offices of Goldfarb ... Floor, Tel Aviv, Israel . ... Tamir to the Board of Directors; , election of ... of an amendment to certain terms of options granted to our Chief ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... InSphero AG, the leading ... culture models, has promoted Melanie Aregger to serve as Chief Operating Officer. ... on the management team and was promoted to Head of InSphero Diagnostics ...
Breaking Biology Technology: