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he low-frequency vocalizations of fin and blue whales are the most powerful
 

Summary: T
he low-frequency vocalizations of fin
and blue whales are the most powerful
and ubiquitous biological sounds in
the ocean1,2
. Here we combine acoustic
localization and molecular techniques to
show that, in fin whales, only males
produce these vocalizations. This finding
indicates that they may function as male
breeding displays, and will help to focus
concern on the impact of human-generated
low-frequency sounds on recovering whale
populations.
The long, patterned 15­30-Hz (`20-Hz')
vocal sequences of fin whales (Balaenoptera
physalus) can reach intensities of 184­186
decibels (dB) relative to 1 Pa of sound
pressure, and can be detected throughout
the world's oceans3,4

  

Source: Acevedo, Alejandro - Department of Biology, Western Washington University
Alencar, Adriano Mesquita - Departamento de Física Geral, Universidade de São Paulo

 

Collections: Environmental Sciences and Ecology; Physics