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Humpback whale song and foraging behavior on an antarctic feeding ground.

Stimpert AK, Peavey LE, Friedlaender AS, Nowacek DP - PLoS ONE (2012)

Bottom Line: Dive behavior of tagged animals during the time of sound production showed song occurring during periods of active diving, sometimes to depths greater than 100 m.One tag record also contained song in the presence of feeding lunges identified from the behavioral sensors, indicating that mating displays occur in areas worthy of foraging.This may also signify an ability to engage in breeding activities outside of the traditional, warm water breeding ground locations.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Oceanography, Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, California, United States of America. akstimpe@nps.edu

ABSTRACT
Reports of humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) song chorusing occurring outside the breeding grounds are becoming more common, but song structure and underwater behavior of individual singers on feeding grounds and migration routes remain unknown. Here, ten humpback whales in the Western Antarctic Peninsula were tagged in May 2010 with non-invasive, suction-cup attached tags to study foraging ecology and acoustic behavior. Background song was identified on all ten records, but additionally, acoustic records of two whales showed intense and continuous singing, with a level of organization and structure approaching that of typical breeding ground song. The songs, produced either by the tagged animals or close associates, shared phrase types and theme structure with one another, and some song bouts lasted close to an hour. Dive behavior of tagged animals during the time of sound production showed song occurring during periods of active diving, sometimes to depths greater than 100 m. One tag record also contained song in the presence of feeding lunges identified from the behavioral sensors, indicating that mating displays occur in areas worthy of foraging. These data show behavioral flexibility as the humpbacks manage competing needs to continue to feed and to prepare for the breeding season during late fall. This may also signify an ability to engage in breeding activities outside of the traditional, warm water breeding ground locations.

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Related in: MedlinePlus

Examples of the most common phrases for each recording.Spectrograms were generated in Matlab (Hamming window, FFT size 2048, 50% overlap).
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pone-0051214-g002: Examples of the most common phrases for each recording.Spectrograms were generated in Matlab (Hamming window, FFT size 2048, 50% overlap).

Mentions: We named units based on their acoustic properties, using terms such as broadband burst (BB), pulsed (P), long (>1 second, L), short (<1 second, S), and high (>2 kHz, H). For example, alternating long and short units would be labeled “L/S”. The two whales produced similar phrases, and shared themes and overall structure, including five identifiable and organized themes (Figure 2). The L/S theme was the most common and had the highest number of phrase repetitions. Percent occurrence of phrase types and mean number of phrase repetitions within themes are shown in Table 1.


Humpback whale song and foraging behavior on an antarctic feeding ground.

Stimpert AK, Peavey LE, Friedlaender AS, Nowacek DP - PLoS ONE (2012)

Examples of the most common phrases for each recording.Spectrograms were generated in Matlab (Hamming window, FFT size 2048, 50% overlap).
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3526533&req=5

pone-0051214-g002: Examples of the most common phrases for each recording.Spectrograms were generated in Matlab (Hamming window, FFT size 2048, 50% overlap).
Mentions: We named units based on their acoustic properties, using terms such as broadband burst (BB), pulsed (P), long (>1 second, L), short (<1 second, S), and high (>2 kHz, H). For example, alternating long and short units would be labeled “L/S”. The two whales produced similar phrases, and shared themes and overall structure, including five identifiable and organized themes (Figure 2). The L/S theme was the most common and had the highest number of phrase repetitions. Percent occurrence of phrase types and mean number of phrase repetitions within themes are shown in Table 1.

Bottom Line: Dive behavior of tagged animals during the time of sound production showed song occurring during periods of active diving, sometimes to depths greater than 100 m.One tag record also contained song in the presence of feeding lunges identified from the behavioral sensors, indicating that mating displays occur in areas worthy of foraging.This may also signify an ability to engage in breeding activities outside of the traditional, warm water breeding ground locations.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Oceanography, Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, California, United States of America. akstimpe@nps.edu

ABSTRACT
Reports of humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) song chorusing occurring outside the breeding grounds are becoming more common, but song structure and underwater behavior of individual singers on feeding grounds and migration routes remain unknown. Here, ten humpback whales in the Western Antarctic Peninsula were tagged in May 2010 with non-invasive, suction-cup attached tags to study foraging ecology and acoustic behavior. Background song was identified on all ten records, but additionally, acoustic records of two whales showed intense and continuous singing, with a level of organization and structure approaching that of typical breeding ground song. The songs, produced either by the tagged animals or close associates, shared phrase types and theme structure with one another, and some song bouts lasted close to an hour. Dive behavior of tagged animals during the time of sound production showed song occurring during periods of active diving, sometimes to depths greater than 100 m. One tag record also contained song in the presence of feeding lunges identified from the behavioral sensors, indicating that mating displays occur in areas worthy of foraging. These data show behavioral flexibility as the humpbacks manage competing needs to continue to feed and to prepare for the breeding season during late fall. This may also signify an ability to engage in breeding activities outside of the traditional, warm water breeding ground locations.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus