Whale vocalization

From Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Humpback whales are well known for their songs. Click the arrow to play the video, which includes audio.

Whale sounds (or vocalization) are used by whales for communication. Whales can make different kinds of sounds, including growling and singing. The song of whales is a regular sound made by some whales (for example, baleen whale). Humpback whales make long, complicated songs. Some whales can sing and some cannot.[1]

Scientists are not sure what the songs do. Whales as young as one month old make some songs. Among humpback wales, the male adults sing much more than other whales do, so scientists think it might be males competing for mates.[2]

Unlike humans, whales do not pass air through vocal cords to make sounds. Bubbles do not rise up from a whale as it makes sounds. Some scientists think whales push air through holes inside their heads, called sinuses. They push the air across tissue called "phonic lips" or "vocal folds."[2]

Due to their life in the water, whales and other marine mammals are very dependent on acoustic communication.

References[change | change source]

  1. Melissa Hobson (June 21, 2021). "Whales don't spray water from their blowholes and other myths debunked". National Geographic. Retrieved July 7, 2021.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Thomas Ling (June 22, 2021). "How humpback whales communicate through a hidden global network of song". BBC Science Focus Magazine. Retrieved July 7, 2021.