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How to Understand the Meaning Behind Whale Songs

a whale jumping out of the water

As the largest animals to ever grace the planet, whales have captivated humans for centuries. Fortunately, whale watching tours are some of the best ways to learn more about these fascinating, highly-intelligent creatures. While on a whale watching tour, you may hear a few whale songs depending on what species are most prevalent on your tour. Baleen whales are the ones responsible for these oceanic tunes, but what’s the meaning behind them?

Whale Song Meanings: What Are They?

A Form of Communication

Bowhead, humpback, and blue whales are among the baleen members that “sing.” Their songs are described as predictable patterns of sound that give the gentle giants the opportunity to communicate with one another. Songs have been likened to human singing with a low, haunting tone. Many songs captured live by scientists are translated into jazz and classical compositions.

Different Songs for Different Scenarios

a body of water with a mountain in the background

These members of the Cetacea animal family use different songs for different purposes. Male humpback whales, for example, sing during whale mating season as part of the animals’ coupling rituals; the females never produce songs. Studies suggest humpbacks also use songs as sonar communication that provides both the singer and the listener with auditory scene analysis. Additionally, there is evidence that male humpbacks change their songs when they detect human presence, such as from whale watching or fishing boats out at sea.

Other reasons for whale songs include mourning the loss of family members and even venting over loneliness. The bowhead whales of the Arctic are the only species other than humpbacks to produce distinct songs; however, why their songs change remains unknown.

Listen to these underwater melodies while enjoying a whale watching excursion with Kauai Sea Tours. Based in Eleele, HI, this top-rated boat tour company allows you to experience the glittering Na Pali coast thanks to a special permit. Choose from catamaran cruise and ocean rafting options to bask in the beauty of Kauai, whether you’re exploring sea caves, snorkeling, getting approached by local dolphins, or whale watching. Call (808) 335-5309 to book a boat tour today, or learn more about their packages online. You can also keep up with the latest tour information on Facebook.

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