There are probably several songs that pop into your mind every day. They can be the hits playing on Spotify or just some lyric that reminds you of something.
This may not surprise anyone, but what if we told you that the same thing happens to humpback whales?
Just like us, this species is able to invent and remember some melodies.
This is what Sonia Español from the MERI Foundation has to say: “It’s as if they were words. They add different words that make up a phrase, when we add those phrases we have a theme and that theme comes together and generates a song”.
“It’s like the chorus of a song we like listening to”, said the scientist, who added that “they have the ability to make these choruses and repeat them for hours throughout a season”.
According to a study from the University of Iceland, these whales are able to identify 15 different phrases and themes, and have a repertoire that they sing during their feeding period in cold waters.
This fact might seem obvious but is not, since until now there was only record of their singing in breeding areas, that is, in hot waters, which was verified by the MERI Foundation in 2007 in Chilean territory.
“It changes the paradigm of believing that it only happens during reproduction in hot waters because when they feed they also emit sounds”, added Español, who also pointed out that the next mission is to identify “if, when they are singing, are they doing it as a courtship of the female or as a learning between males” for when they reach the breeding area.
The problem is that while we learn more about them and they dazzle us with their human abilities, the humpback whales must learn to survive the damage caused by humans in their environment.
Some of the most alarming news has come from Japan, a country that decided to withdraw from the International Whaling Commission and officially resume their commercial hunting.
However, this is not the only bad news, since they must also face the consequences of climate change and plastic pollution in their oceans. Meanwhile, maybe their songs are warning us of the danger they are facing.
Source: Futuro 360