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Bowhead Whales Jam Like Hendrix for Months

Bowhead whales are now thought to have song repertoires rivaling those of birds, except the tunes sound more like psychedelic Jimi Hendrix guitar licks than avian tweets.

Listen and see what you think:
Bowhead Whale Song #1
Bowhead Whale Song #2

Note how the whales appear to sing with “two voices." They simultaneously produce high and low frequency sounds. Like Phish and other jam bands, the whales also sometimes repeat the same tune for hours at a time.
But Kate Stafford, an oceanographer with the University of Washington's Applied Physics Lab, discovered even more. The adventure began when she and her colleagues decided to count the number of bowhead whales traveling through Fram Strait, an inhospitable icy sea region between Greenland and the northern islands of Norway.
To do that, the researchers placed two underwater microphones in the strait, and left them there for nearly a year. Since only a handful of bowhead whales have been seen in the region over the past recent decades, the scientists didn't expect to hear much.
They were wrong.
The microphones revealed that bowhead whales traveling through the area sang nearly constantly -- day and night -- for around 5 months in the winter. More than 60 unique songs were recorded. You can read about them in a feature article in Endangered Species Research.
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