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Whale song

Whale song

Z920/0203

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Credit

SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Whale song. Waveform traces of a short burst of the sounds made by a humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae). These sounds are produced by moving air back and forth through body passages. Humpback whales, who are thought to have the longest and most varied songs of any species, produce sequences which in breeding season can last up to 15 minutes and then be repeated for hours. These songs have characteristics which enable them to be identifed as belonging to a particular group of whales from a particualr area. They are used for communication and in courtship. Only the males sing.

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