Bird’s Eye: We start with a picture, then discover that the desire to be a pop star is something we share with humpback whales, as an amazing study about the culture of these fellow mammals reveals. We end with some samples, but whether these are the hits or the misses you’ll have to decide for yourself.
* Humpback Whale in Flight Eyewitness The Guardian
* Humpback Whales Spread Catchy Tunes To Each Other, Study Reveals guardian.co.uk
Humpback whales spread catchy songs to each other through the ocean, research has shown. Male whales whistle mating tunes that either prove a hit or miss. Catchy “remix” versions of the songs quickly spread across the ocean, almost always travelling east to west, scientists have found. Usually the songs are made up of blended old and new material. But sometimes a song is judged to be a failure and dropped altogether, making way for a new tune.
Researcher Ellen Garland, from the University of Queensland inAustralia, said: “Our findings reveal cultural change on a vast scale.”She said popular songs moved like “cultural ripples from one population to another”, causing all the males to start singing the new version.
* Listen to Whale Songs Ocean Mammal Institute
These are actual recordings of humpback whales in the ocean. Four samples are available for your listening pleasure. Hearing a humpback whale song is definitely a unique experience that you won’t want to miss if you’re interested in learning about these wondrous creatures.