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Interview 4:10 - 9:45 Play 4:10 - More
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Louis Herman  

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Humpback Whale  

Humpback Whale -- Megaptera novaeangliae 17:51 - 18:02 Play 17:51 - More
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Sound Effects 43:40 - 46:46 Play 43:40 - More
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Interview 47:38 - 1:00:25 Play 47:38 - More
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Humpback Whale  

NPR/NGS Radio Expeditions
8 Mar 1998

    Geography
  • United States
    Hawaii
    Maui County
    Locality
  • 7.0 km W of Lahaina; aboard the boat Nuki
    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
  • Sennheiser MKH 40
  • Sennheiser MKH 30
    Accessories
    Equipment Note
  • Stereo=1; Decoded MS stereo; Sennheiser MKH40 Cardioid Mid Mic and MKH30 Bidirectional Side Mic into Sony TCD10 Pro 2

NPR/NGS RADIO EXPEDITIONS
HAWAII-WHALES
DAT 8

Lou Herman (LH)
Molly Hurst (MH)
Alex Chadwick (AC)
Les Gilbert (LG)

0:12 lg 2:23 pm on 3/8/98
ms recording
cardioid on the left figure 8 on the right
Sony 10 pro Sennheiser MKH mics

Continued recordings on research vessel Nuki

Dr. Lou Herman and research asst.

group of 5/6 animals

talking on board

6:27 lh blow, okay mark, capture, capture mark

6:57 ac being careful not to hit them?

7:03 lh yes, certainly i'm stopping, going into neutral, and they're very conscious also of the boat

7:25 lh notice the floppy dorasl fin ...

7:41 lh the males will usually have a lot more scarring on their bodies ...evidence of the aggression and comp they've been in

8:02 lh coming up here, grab this mark if you can just as he rises whale blow, coming out of water
motor, water lapping

9:29 lh you see this level of comp here is typical of the winter grounds, we're seing just some of the surface activities

9:46 ac would it be all right to get in the water?

--lh by the time i'd get in there would be tail flukes in the distance

**@11:00 good exchanges between molly and lh--"shop talk"

12:30 lh changing direction, chasing each other

20:39 lg 3 pm, cont. following group of 5/6 whales

ambi of boat following pod, occasional comment to 26:58

@34:00 lh talking to another boat

again more boat ambi to 38:00

lh and molly talking off mic

38:55 molly's id on tape: the date is sunday march 8th approx 4 pm, the videographer was Molly Hurst that last section of video was the subsection of pod number 24 three adults traveling rapidly one lead with a linear bubble trail and bean chasing the animal directly below it which is approx 50 ft below the surface both of these animals then disappeared from my view those animals than displayed no agonistic behaviors and cont traveling...

39 :39 mh all three animals had dark pec fins, no distinct charac were visible.

boat traveling

41:16 lh there's two right there!

43:05 molly's id, off mic

44:00 ambi of mic pointing to the back of boat to 45:40

45:57 lh engine in auto mode, talking in background to 46:47

Intv with Dr. Herman

on boat, water lapping

47:40 ac more than 20 yrs you've been studying these animals, what do you conclude?
47:47 ac prob need another twenty yrs. to conclude anything radio in back

48:38 lh i think we need another twenty yrs to begin to have a reasonable understanding of them however we know a lot more than we did twenty yrs ago ...and there have been a number of surprises and discoveries that we think have given us some insight as to how these whales are organized socially (49:07)

49:08 lh for ex the discovery of the escort relationship that phenomenon where a whale follows a male and calf, i first described that in the 1977 not knowing who the escort was, not knowing who the escort was in terms of gender, or rel or anything of that type but v obviously in the first yr or two you can see this occurring and that escort rel has now been studied by many people and we've come to appreciate several things about it, one that the escorts are males secondly, that they are very competitive, a great deal of aggression takes place in these groups revising the early theories of these animals as being v non-aggressive, gentle, sort of peace-loving (50:22) so to speak

50:25 lh two yrs ago i guess it was now we actually came across a whale that had apparently died as a consequence of these interactions in a comp pod, the other members of the group that it was in when we came upon it were attending to it wrapping their pec fins around it as it floated at the surface, it had been video-taped by a passenger aboard a whale watching vessel about an hour or so earlier actively engaged in very heavy comp this shows that in very certain circumstances the comp can be lethal and rise to that level, nobody thought that before 51:21

51:27 lh the other things that we found out about were the types of migrations that these animals engage in...

talks about migrations

52:20 lh some whales may actually visit diff wintering grounds

--hawaii has most whales during winter

53:14 lh so there is some interchange there which sugg that the pop of whales in the north pacific are not genetically isolated in to discreet groups ..but that they prob interbreed... allowing for genetic diversity which is really good ...53:32

53:34 lh we have also recorded songs in all these areas and compared the songs to the same time of yr and what we find is there's some overlap in the songs across the three regions, a number of themes appeared to be shared in common at the same time but in the diff grounds there are additionally themes that re unique to those grounds 53:56

...we've been able to get some estimate of how long it takes the whales to travel ...again through photographic identification

talks about aerial surveys of whales, comparison of habitats

--so we and other researchers have been able to find ways to id gender of whales ...population of structure

56:28 lh for ex there's a surplus of males here in the winter grounds although the one to one ratio holds for the population at large and that sugg that certain things about the nature of the social or reproductive system that takes place in the winter grounds and basically tells us that there a very good reason for the intense comp that's taking place between these escorts, some of which we saw today (57:02)

57:03 lh we saw a number of behaviors today which twenty yrs ago we're just things we saw that we didn't quite know what they meant and how to interpret them...

**57:28 lh today we saw animals rising up with their throat pleats inflated lunging forward in what we call inflated head lunges and we saw whales throwing their tails viciously to one side, whales tail slapping, other whales waving their pectoral fins in the air and slapping them--15 ft long underwater bubble trails and... (describing what saw) 58:27**

so yes i think we've learned quite a bit in the last 20 yrs we don't have any conclusions because research is never concluded...

--lh it goes on and on and what we've learned today will prob be amended tomorrow and so the work is very intensive

***59:28 lh field work with whales is not like fieldwork w terrestrial mammals because rather than being able to observe animals for long periods of time as you can in the terrestrial sit you get glimpses over here and you have to begin to piece together the puzzle, so it is a giant jigsaw puzzle and just got a little bit of the border done so far, so we'll see what happens tomorrow...pau 1:00:09***

1:00:18 lh
(talking about Hawaiian word "pau"--used during videotaping of whales) it means "finished" or "end

END OF DAT

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