The North Pacific right whale is one of the rarest whales on the planet. In fact, these slow-moving whales were nearly wiped out due to intensive whaling, with only about 30 of these precious animals remaining. That’s why it’s wonderful news that marine biologists have recorded singing by one of these rare whales for the very first time.
Using moored acoustic recorders, researchers at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) used moored acoustic recorders to capture repeated patterns of calls made by male north Pacific right whales. Right whales make a variety of sounds. A predominant call sounds like a gunshot. They also make upcalls, downcalls, moans, screams, and warbles. Apparently, to be a song, the sounds have to contain rhythmically patterned series of units produced in a consistent manner to form clearly recognizable patterns.
The researchers say that the singing may come from a male trying to attract a female, which may be very difficult considering only 30 of these whales remain. That’s truly beautiful and tragic at the same time. Should you be interested in hearing the first audio recording of the North Pacific right whale, have a listen right here.