Meet the ‘remix’ DJS of seas - males humpback whales!

April 15th, 2011 - 3:01 pm ICT by ANI  

London, April 15 (ANI): Just like humans, humpback whales follow musical trends that change by the season, according to a new study.

The males whistle mating tunes which - just like pop songs - are either a hit or miss.

According to the scientists, if the tune catches on, “remix” versions quickly spread across the ocean, from one whale population to another thousands of miles away.

Usually the songs are made up of blended old and new material.

The whales mimic human DJs in combining “classic” tunes with new material.

“It would be like splicing an old Beatles song with U2,” the Daily Express quoted researcher Ellen Garland, from the University of Queensland, Australia, as saying.

But sometimes a song is judged to be a “miss” and dropped altogether.

Popular songs move like “cultural ripples from one population to another”, causing all the males to start singing the new “hit”, she explained.

Her team spent a decade searching for patterns in whale songs recorded from six neighbouring Pacific whale populations. They found it took roughly two years for male mating songs to spread from Australia to French Polynesia.

It is thought small numbers of whales take their songs to other populations, or whales in neighbouring groups hear the new songs as they swim together.

“The songs started in the population that migrates along the eastern coast of Australia and then moved - just the songs,” added Garland.

The study has been reported online in Current Biology. (ANI)

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