NOAA Fisheries biologists record singing by rare right whale

June 19, 2019 - 10:00 am

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Scientists with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have recorded singing by a rare right whale for the first time.

Researchers used moored acoustic recorders to capture patterned calls made by male North Pacific right whales.

Researchers detected four distinct songs over eight years at five locations in the southeast Bering Sea.

Humpback, bowhead and other whales previously have been recorded singing. Right whales have been recorded making individual sounds.

NOAA Fisheries marine biologist Jessica Crance says the recent recordings are the first time right whales have been detected using patterned phrases that make up what she describes as a song.

Right whales make sounds described as gunshot calls, upcalls, screams and warbles.

Crance says a male putting the sounds in song patterns may by trying to attract a female.