Subject: Communication of whales

Dagmar Fertl (
Thu, 12 Feb 1998 14:24:15 -0500

     Dear Scott,
     You kind of answered part of your own question.  One of the reasons 
     that baleen whales make those deep, low frequency sounds is to 
     communicate with each other over long distances.  Remember, baleen 
     whales are not very social, and migrate over long distances.
     A prevailing hypothesis is that the song that humpbacks sing functions 
     to attracts females to the male singer.  Others say that it is a way 
     for females to choose males, whoever sings the most complex song 
     represents the fittest male.  Recently suggested at the World Marine 
     Mammal Conference in Monaco is that the social function of the song is 
     primarily a display between males - like to establish dominance 
     Your question is really a broad one, and there has been volumes 
     written on it.  You might not be able to find everything on the web, 
     and might need to check thru your local library which will surely 
     locate lots of information.  I have found the following website to be 
     useful for general searches like yours:
     Good luck!

______________________________ Reply Separator _________________________________
Subject: research
Author:  Matthew Auman <> at ~smtp
Date:    2/9/98 10:32 PM

I'm writing a paper involving communication of whales.  Could you send 
some information about why they make such sounds, such as the haunting 
moans of the humpback?  It would be very much appreciated.