Humpback whales were able to learn songs from relatives

(ORDO NEWS) — Humpback whales are able to quickly learn the complex song patterns of other whale populations, researchers at the University of Queensland have found, published in the journal Nature.

The researchers closely studied the song patterns of male humpback whales from New Caledonia and Australia between 2009 and 2015 to track the level of cultural transmission between populations.

It turned out that New Caledonian humpback whales can learn the songs of their counterparts from the east coast of Australia with amazing accuracy. Every year, the whales learned the songs of other populations without error, regardless of their complexity.

The complexity of the whales’ songs was determined by measuring both the number of sounds the whales made and the length of the sound patterns, the scientists said.

The results obtained suggest that whales have the highest level of cultural exchange among all animals. It also supports the idea that whales learn to sing along common migration routes such as New Zealand or common feeding grounds such as Antarctica.


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