New population of blue whales producing entirely distinct songs, found living in the Indian Ocean. Scientists say that these whales lived there for a while, but were not widely acknowledged because of their inaccessibility. The discovery is as dizzying for everyone as it is for ocean scientists all over the world.
Whales are the biggest mammals that weigh up to 380,000 pounds and grow up to 100 feet in length. And Baleen whales are the only ones that sing out of the whole whale family. Thus, the new population of blue whales, discovered in the Western Indian Ocean has a style different from all the styles discovered until now.
Why do whales sing?
Whales produce a variety of sounds, under the water for umpteen reasons. Now, sound travels much faster in water than in air. Thus, it is easier for colossal animals like whales to vocalize than see or smell as a means of survival. Male whales, rather than female ones, often produce these sounds like clicks, moans, whistles, and cries at different frequencies. They do this to catch prey, communicate with other males, attract females, claim territories, or even call baby whales to follow. As different environments and their respective needs led to the evolvement of different whale species on Earth. They at the same time learned various skills for adaptation and survival.
Now, scientists knew only of Baleen whales that produce sounds to make a definite pattern like melodies. And they are called whale songs. But with this discovery, the belief has changed. And Whale songs are one of the most fascinating sound systems from the under-water world.
The research of the new population of blue whales
Salvatore Cerchio is a marine biologist at the African Aquatic Conservation Fund in Massachusetts says, “It’s like hearing different songs within a genre- Stevie Ray Vaughan versus B.B. King”. Another marine biologist Asha de Vos commented “The find is a great reminder that our oceans are still this very unexplored place”. Cerchio, with his colleagues, first recorded these sounds a few years ago on the Madagascar Coast. Later, to dig further and come to solid results, biologists took their instruments and hydrophones deeper into the ocean and recorded these whale’s croons. The discovery was published in the journal “Endangered species Research”, reports NewYork Times.
They say that many blue whale populations have had their self-styled songs, which the team had recognized before. But until 2018, the team at different locations, at different times collected such distinct whale resonations. And then concluded that the song, the new population of blue whales in the western Indian Ocean sung was unique. Yet another researcher Carbaugh-Rutland corroborates the research about the unique melodies of the new population of blue whales.
But a lot of whaling and poaching activities have dwindled the number of whales to a large extent. Thus researching the blue whales gets even tougher as they mostly swim in the deep waters away from shores. Vos also reveals the fact that when the two different species fail to communicate in a common melody, they grow apart. So, any two species having different taste of tunes will further divide into subspecies. But for this new population of blue whales, researchers say that even if they exist in solitude, they still deserve to be studied and preserved.
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