Subject: Re: Fin whale diseases and communication

Dr. Cathy Schaeff (
Tue, 14 Oct 1997 16:42:29 +0000

Michael Riggs wrote:
> What sorts of diseases do Fin whales get? How do they communicate?
> David Riggs
> 6th grade

Hi Michael,

I'm afraid that I am not up on whale diseases.  As for fin whale
communication, fins make short low pitched pulsed sounds which are below
the level of human hearing as well as high pitched clicks. Biological
functions of these sounds remain largely untested, the most common being
that sounds are a male reproductive display for social communication.
Fin whales may also use them to navigate.

hope this info helps.  Cathy Schaeff 
Dr. Cathy Schaeff
Biology Department 
American University
4400 Mass. Ave. N.W. 
Washington D.C. 20016-8007
(202) 885-2175 (phone)
(202) 885-2182 (fax) (email)