Animal Research

Scientists discover a whale species' mating songs are as complex as jazz

Scientists discover a whale species' mating songs are as complex as jazz

In the ocean videos we've become accustomed to, the sounds of the sea are fairly simple: the whoosh of bubbles as a shark darts after a seal, the splash of a breaching dolphin, the British accent of a BBC narrator.

But for Kate Stafford and other oceanographers who have spent their careers eavesdropping on the sounds of marine animals, ocean noise is as complex and multifaceted as the sounds of a jungle.

And bowhead whales — 75-ton, thick-bodied mammals that can live two centuries and grow to be as long as a tractor-trailer — are the world's biggest songbirds.

Stafford revealed in a paper released this week that bowhead whales near Greenland are part of the small...

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