Twelve new songs sung by bowhead whales undertaking annual Arctic spring migration

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The bowhead whale has the most impressive singing repertoire of all whales, and scientists have just recorded 12 unique songs being sung by bowhead whales on their annual migration. The discovery reveals more about how these enigmatic creatures, which spend much of their lives swimming under thick Arctic sea ice, communicate.
The new research focused on one population of bowhead whales on their annual spring migration along along the west coast of Alaska. The researchers recorded more unique songs (listen below) during this period of migration than has ever been observed before in this group, which belong to the Bering-Chukchi-Beaufort population, the biggest of four geographically isolated populations.
The study, published in the journal Marine Mammal Science, also found that at least six of these songs were shared among travelling members of the group. Using underwater microphones called hydrophones, the team recorded songs at two locations and found 12 unique songs (listen below) from 32 individuals. A previous study recorded a greater number of 66 unique songs, but over a much longer period of one year. While other species such as the humpback, sperm, and blue whale also sing, it is the bowhead that appears to have the greatest number and diversity of songs.
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More information and bowhead whale sound recordings: