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Interview :05 - 1:06:03 Play :05 - More
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Louis Herman  

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Environmental Recording 22:54 - 29:36 Play 22:54 - More
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Boat ambi  

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Humpback Whale -- Megaptera novaeangliae 27:33 - 28:00 Play 27:33 - More
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blow

 

Time of Day: 1105; Recorded from boat  

Sound Effects 47:22 - 48:53 Play 47:22 - More
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Boat start, Boat take off at sea  

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Sound Effects 51:45 - 52:27 Play 51:45 - More
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Boat slow down, Boat stop  

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Humpback Whale -- Megaptera novaeangliae 54:00 - 55:17 Play 54:00 - More
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1 Adult Male  

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grunts

 

Time of Day: 1130; Recorded from boat  

Humpback Whale -- Megaptera novaeangliae 1:03:06 - 1:03:55 Play 1:03:06 - More
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1 Adult Male  

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blow

 

Time of Day: 1140; Recorded from boat  

NPR/NGS Radio Expeditions
8 Mar 1998 at 11:05

    Geography
  • United States
    Hawaii
    Maui County
    Locality
  • 5.0 km W of Lahaina
    Latitude/Longitude
  • 20.87194   -156.72694
    Habitats
  • Marine
  • Ocean
    Channels
  • Stereo
    Sampling Rate
  • 48kHz
    Bit Depth
  • 16-bit
    Recorders
  • SONY TCD-D10 PRO II
    Microphones
    Accessories
    Equipment Note
  • Stereo=1; Decoded MS stereo; Sennheiser mics

NPR/NGS RADIO EXPEDITIONS
DAT 4

LH = Lou Herman
AC = Alex Chadwick

Ms Recording, on Nuke cont. recording of Dr. Herman

boat motor, water

@1:00 lh talking into recorder, describing mom, calf, escort putting ident. on video he had just shot
3:40

whales in bground
-ac can you tell me what you're hearing
-lh hearing a lot of chorusing or multiple singers and some are fairly close and other s are more disperse ... indiv singers tend to sep themselves they tend to sep by as much as 6 kilometers or if its further it might move in closer so each whale sort of preserves a singing space around itself urn poss it's to avoid masking one's own sounds by the sounds of another
(4:44)

4:53 lh
there's a very repetitive sound in here sort of like (4:57, 59) hear sound in background sounds not very common to me****

5:33 ac
can you tell how many animals you're hearing

5:47 lh
can't tell how many

6:10 lh
well we know there are multiple singers here that we are listening to the singers tend to be alone sep by several km but here in Maui we haven't measured the distance between singers as we have on the big island...the singers we know are males, typically a singer will be underwater perhaps 60--100 ft depth stationary canted down to a 50 deg angle pectoral fins spread out

7:09 lh
these songs have been analyzed and they appear to have a fairly well defined structure to them. they are repetitive not in the short run but in the long run as the animal cycles through various themes which in turn are made up of phrases which are in turn made up of smaller units of sound individual units of sounbd may be as short as 1-2 sec. or as long as 4-5 seconds ...

8:13 lh
all sounds are from males ...so far no one has identified any return by the females ...the analogies one would like to draw BIRD

8:58 lh
whale songs at least seems to function as to keep other singers at a distance ...but it doesn't serve very much at all as an attractant to females ...
playback whale recordings ...alaska recordings

11:23 lh
only about 2~ of whales targeted with the song approached, but about 20~ approached the sound from alaska and their approach was charc by a sudden turn from as much as km or two away and then charging to a vessel at great speeds, looking at mic deployed and then swimming off ...
sometimes see whales together when singing but very rare ...

12:46 lh
in 1985 when we first discovered the attractiveness of this sound happened to be the same year entered san fran bay and began to swim up the sacramento river for many weeks and resisting all efforts to turn it back stream...after about three weeks org conference call ... lure him out instead of draw him out ...after about 2-3 hours .. .
tape of sounds

15:16 lh
went way up the river about fifty miles up the river...calibrate turned on sound humphrey turned around and charged frantically signaled researcher to come back then led him out of water...

17:34 lh
other researchers sugg that they are jousting with the song, trying to see who can sing the loudest and the best ... like some of the ungulates jousting with their antlers

18:04 lh
where whales have approached the singers ... its turned out to be males ...which only adds to the puzzle

18:36 lh
another hypothesis is you've got a surplus of males here to form an area where females will come in general

18:55 lh
the song indicating many singers are present may serve to trigger ovulation in female therefore priming...or looking from the females point to view she may not ovulate unless there are sufficient males present to choose among and so these males are indicating yes there are a lot of us here ...

19:29 lh
another theory that is quite speculative but quite radical is that the song functions are sonar and certain components of the song have app character to be used for echolocation...bouncing as off whales that they strike returning as very faint echoes ...

they do use sound in part for navigation

22:52 recording boat ambi ... boat rocking back and forth, splashes 24:39, 41, 43 to 26:44

more ambi on boat looking for whale

27:33 whale blow

27:50 blow

30:29 boat engine at distance

32:53 lh
each day we set out to continue our study of the whales by trying to focus on part aspects one of the research goals is to study these comp pods ...almost always there is a female present ...subgroups sometimes working together...sometimes jousting each other... she doesn't engage in any of the competition ...and perhaps this is how she chooses mate encourages compo .. studying indiv. by studying tail flukes .. . another goal is to attempt to get size estimates .. .

37:50
with these emphases ... these comprise our seasonal goals some of which are new others which continue ...

38:26 ac
can you tell is there a diff in way dolphins and whales comm?

38:35 lh
well that's a very diff ?

obvious similarity is in vocalizations, there doesn't seem to be the kind of sexual, gender related diff among dolphins as you see in humpbacks ... in where the song seems to be an exclusive charac of the males now when these comp pods ...we here kind of grunts, not part of the sound repertoire ...act as threats or attempts to establish dominance typical of competing mammalian males ...

39:43 lh
we hear some sounds that the mother may make to the calf that is poss a call to the calf ...

how far away can hear whale songs?

41:03 lh
15 km, poss 20 km to our ears

@46:00 lh talking about benefits of video taping, pods

going back to look for singer

47:37 starting boat ...motor on, lowers at 50:00 till 52:13 low humm off at 52:23

right over the whale

52:59 lh
here's the groan (can here whale noises)

53:59
on board boat whales noises clicking camera boat rocking from side to side., moving equipment to 56:40

57:00 lh
we're out here between the islands of Maui and Lanai about 3 mi offshore of Maui and we're right over a singing whales the sound is so loud we can hear them through air the whale has been observed before we arrived here to be a singer showing charac singer behaviors long down times coming to surface then throwing tail in air and diving down to perhaps 60-100 ft to continue song ... in addition to the singer itself which is v loud component you can here other singers in the background there are no other whales in the near vicinity, although we did see ...pairs ...no more than 3-4 kilometers of this whales position

58:34
ac can you recog parts

58:48 lh
well arbitrarily we signify the end of a song as the surfacing... typically there will be a ratchet like sound occurring at that time since the song is a circular song ...surfacing is clear marker that we can id

59:21 ac
how long?

59:38 lh
part singer will sing for sometimes reI short periods of time hour or less, sometimes many hours what interrupts them is the presence of other whales of the sensing of the whales ...
1:01:18 lh
think the successful singers are those that don't sing to long ...

1:01:28 ac
there's another whale there its maybe about 100 yds away is that whale assoc in any way

1:01:40 lh
not in any way that we can identify

1:03:08 BLOWS***there he is

1:03:29 BLOWS

1:03:51 BLOWS

1:04:17 lh
just captured tail flukes, dove straight down, ... they were 50% white 50% black ...
--lg song didn't stop when blowing

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