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J Acoust Soc Am. 1986 Sep;80(3):735-40.

Sounds, source levels, and associated behavior of humpback whales, southeast Alaska.


Humpback whales in Southeast Alaskan waters produced five categories of sounds: moans, grunts, pulse trains, blowhole-associated sounds, and surface impacts. Frequencies (Hz) of moans and grunts were 20-1900. Major energy in low-frequency pulse trains was in a band of 25-80 Hz with pulse duration of 300-400 ms. Blowhole-associated sounds, recorded as transiting whales encountered one another, were of two types: shrieks, 555-2000 Hz, and trumpetlike horn blasts with fundamental at 414 Hz (median). Pulses and spread spectrum noise were associated with gas bubble formation and explosive bursts, respectively, in connection with spiral feeding maneuvers. Surface impacts resulted from fluke or flipper slaps in sequences of 3-21 sounds. Source levels ranged from 162 (low-frequency pulse trains) to 192 dB (surface impacts), re: 1 microPa, 1 m. Songs, commonly heard on winter breeding grounds, were absent from our recordings. Feeding and perhaps certain other whale activities can be monitored based on sound production.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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