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February 25th, 2010 - Catjungle24HappyHour

February 25th, 2010

February 25th, 2010
05:52 am

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The Haunting Psychedelic Sounds of the Humpback Whale


Singers are usually lone animals, staying in one spot. They sing about 50-60 feet below the surface, for about 20-40 minutes, with their heads pointed downwards and their tails pointed upwards. The song has a very complex structure, similar to a classical music piece. It can be broken down into units, phrases and themes, which make up the entire song.

Even more amazing, is that on any given day, all of the male humpbacks in Hawaii will be singing the exact same song, even though the song changes as the season progresses. This years' song will start off where last years' song ended, which provides evidence for an amazing memory capacity considering the whales only sing these songs in their breeding areas.

As the season progresses the song will gradually change. New pieces will be added and others will be dropped. One whale may carry a note a bit longer than another whale, but the structure and components are the same.

Since Katy and Roger Payne first scientifically described and identified the whale song in 1979 here in Hawaii, the song has never repeated itself, and is continually evolving

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