Humpback whales changing their tunes, study finds
A humpback whale breaches off Australia.
April 15th, 2011
01:34 PM ET

Humpback whales changing their tunes, study finds

Whether to keep up with keep up the coolest tunes or to stand out from the crowd, male humpback whales change their songs over time, researchers in Australia report.

Researchers had known that male humpbacks sing as part of courtship and mating behaviors. Now they think the whales may be mixing up their playlist to show off.

“We believe the song is continually changing because the males wish to be novel or slightly different to the male singing next to them," Ellen Garland, a doctoral student at the University of Queensland, said in a news release.

Other times, the whales may be picking up a tune they've heard before, sort of a sub-Pacific top 40.

“The way whales change their song can be compared to how humans follow fashion trends – someone starts a new trend, and before you know it, everyone starts wearing the same thing," Garland said.

The whale tunes move eastward across the Pacific, starting off in Australia and spreading to French Polynesia, according to the study.

“I noticed that the songs moved quite rapidly through the six populations, usually taking two years to spread all the way across the region,” Garland said.

The observed pattern and scope of cultural change is "unmatched in non-human culture," according to the university's news release.

The whales were studied over an 11-year period. The full study is published in the journal Current Biology.

Post by:
Filed under: Animals • Australia • Nature • Whales
soundoff (180 Responses)
  1. Mary T.

    Except it looks to me like she never saw you ask her in the first place. Poor lonely you. Hahahahaahahahah

    April 16, 2011 at 2:30 am | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Zeta

    @banasy:lmao with the song! Now we know what the humpbacks are singing!

    April 16, 2011 at 2:31 am | Report abuse | Reply
  3. bam

    .
    so the whales are doing rap now?

    April 16, 2011 at 2:31 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jazzzzzzzz - something fun for everyone

      Please see below for prof that I am NOT lying. thank you

      April 16, 2011 at 3:16 am | Report abuse |
  4. Jazzzzzzzz - something fun for everyone

    banasy

    Hey Mmmmm, why is the argument weak? And I'm not arguing with you, just giving my POV. The golden rule thing? Not really applicable in the case of women's rights. Weak argument? You just gave it. I told you what *I* would do.*I* personally would not have an abortion I *don't* have the right to tell anyone else what to do. And neither do you. One
    Jazzzzzzzz

    Banasy, for the LAST time STOP calling me HON, I am 46 years old , pls show me the respect I have been showing u, if not then so LONG.
    April 14, 2011 at 10:51 pm | Report abuse | Reply

    may give an opinion. One may not insist that one's opinion is the only opinion that correct and true for everyone else.

    And Jazzzzzzzz: ok.
    April 14, 2011 at 11:30 pm | Report abuse | Reply

    April 16, 2011 at 3:01 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jazzzzzzzz - something fun for everyone

      banasy

      OFT

      @Jazz: I only posted the first post. Anyone who read last night's blog would know what I didn't know then: that you don't like being called "hon". Like I said, I didn't know. Trolls are out.

      @Mmmmm: you got that right!
      April 15, 2011 at 5:16 pm | Report abuse | Reply

      April 16, 2011 at 3:59 am | Report abuse |
  5. Jazzzzzzzz - something fun for everyone

    banasy

    Hey Mmmmm, why is the argument weak? And I'm not arguing with you, just giving my POV. The golden rule thing? Not really applicable in the case of women's rights. Weak argument? You just gave it. I told you what *I* would do.*I* personally would not have an abortion I *don't* have the right to tell anyone else what to do. And neither do you. One may give an opinion. One may not insist that one's opinion is the only opinion that correct and true for everyone else.

    And Jazzzzzzzz: ok.
    April 14, 2011 at 11:30 pm | Report abuse | Reply

    April 16, 2011 at 3:02 am | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Jazzzzzzzz - something fun for everyone

    Clearly she knew, that was yesterday on " overheard" blog just fond it. today she or whoever said it again. This is just to prove I am not a lying.

    April 16, 2011 at 3:05 am | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Jazzzzzzzz - something fun for everyone

    Now I will be done with this issue. I will move on and post my opinions and thoughts. I will NOT ever again address anyone in a personal manner. I respect all and WILL NEVER SPEAK OF MY OWN PERSONAL LIFE EVER AGAIN ON THIS WEBSITE. I will take complete responsibility for being such a an IDIOT. Yes this is really me folks I do admit when I am wrong, how about others and I'm not talking to Banasy. I don't talk about anyone DIRECTLY ever again. The end of this drama PLEASE!

    April 16, 2011 at 3:15 am | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Jazzzzzzzz - something fun for everyone

    This is ONLY directed to the ppl here tonight who attacked me, NOT to Banasy OK is everyone gonna stop ATTACKING ME. GOOD NITE

    April 16, 2011 at 3:41 am | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Jazzzzzzzz - something fun for everyone

    1. What is your favorite word?
    2. What is your least favorite word?
    3. What turns you on?
    4. What turns you off?
    5. What sound or noise do you love?
    6. What sound or noise do you hate?
    7. What is your favorite curse word?
    8. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
    9. What profession would you not like to do?
    10. If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?

    April 16, 2011 at 4:21 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jazzzzzzzz - something fun for everyone

      Sorry meant this to post at the end of this ATTACK on me to show who I really am. I do like to make ppl smile and I am a good soul.

      April 16, 2011 at 4:22 am | Report abuse |
  10. BD70

    Wow...think I just found a nest of juveniles....

    April 16, 2011 at 5:24 am | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Chedar

    We can enter one of the best Balyenas in the American Idol see if it wins.

    April 16, 2011 at 5:32 am | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Sarah

    You are one dumb piece of shttt, just go and don't come back, we love banasy, no one likes you, you insulted her and were not taking shhht from you, so please leave and don't come back, 'stub lad'

    April 16, 2011 at 5:44 am | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Mmmmm

    Ok Ellie where are you when we need you? All these people fussing on this thread need a good hosing down...a REOW-REOW!!! (gestering cat claw swipe)

    April 16, 2011 at 5:44 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Mmmmm

      And Thomas that was a great whale of a song...sorry I miss it...I fell asleep...and banasy your whalesong was a blast...thatsa hug and two belly rubs for everyone who sang!

      April 16, 2011 at 5:49 am | Report abuse |
  14. Sarah

    Read Reallys post, its perfect for you.

    April 16, 2011 at 5:46 am | Report abuse | Reply
  15. For your eyes only b@@tch

    ay I see it, Jazzzzzzzzz, you have come on the blogs and caused more bs than any other blogger here. What is you problem? Are you jealous of the other women here? Or are you just trying to land a man? Quit talking s*@t about other people. You’ve done it before with other people, and now you’re doing it to Banasy. What, do you think she doesn’t read your comments? You’re an ass. Grow up and start acting like a 46 year old woman instead of a 7th grader. And stop chatting so GD much. Just. Shut. Up. You stupid b@@tch

    April 16, 2011 at 5:54 am | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

Post a comment


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.