Singing Whales in Indian Ocean | UPSC
The significance of the new whale song recorded in the Indian Ocean
WHY IN NEWS:
In a paper published last week in the journal Endangered Species Research, authors described a new whale song, suggesting the existence of a population that was previously unknown.
SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3: Conservation of Flora and Fauna
For PRELIMS focus on the frequencies and decibels human ears can tolerate !
For MAINS go through international whaling commission (check suggested reading section ).
SINGING WHALES IN INDIAN OCEAN
- Researchers analysed recordings from three locations in the western Indian Ocean from where they discovered the unique whale song.
WHY DO WHALES SING?
- Not all whales sing. Only some, such as the baleen whale, have been found to sing songs.
- Whales use songs to communicate and socialise.
- According to the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), whales use clicks to navigate.
- They identify their surroundings as the sound bounces off objects, helping whales determine their shapes.
[wc_highlight color=”yellow” class=””]ALSO READ : BRYDE WHALE [/wc_highlight]
CAN HUMANS HEAR WHALE SONGS?
- Whale songs are typically below 4 kHz in frequency (human hearing range is between 20 Hz to 20 kHz).
- Whale songs can last between 6-35 minutes, and some individual whales have been found to sing for 22 hours.
WHAT IS THE NEW SONG RECORDED?
- Researchers have recorded the unique song off the coast of Oman in the northern Arabian Sea.
- Also at off the western Chagos Archipalego, and off Madagascar in the southwestern Indian Ocean.
- Researchers believe the source is either the blue whale or Bryde’s whale since both species have been documented off Oman previously.
- The study should lead to dedicated research to better understand it, particularly in light of the conservation of whales.
SOURCES: IE | Singing Whales in Indian Ocean | UPSC