HAWAII- Humpback Whales

We’re listening to the mating calls of humpback whales. This month, humpbacks are gathering in the warm waters off Hawaii, where they’ll mate and give birth to their young. I’m Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet, presented by the American Museum of Natural History.

Eric Brown is a project director for the Pacific Whale foundation in Maui. Much of his research takes place underwater, where he’s had some close encounters with these giant mammals.

“These sounds that we hear while we’re diving are produced by males that are singing, we believe, in an effort to mate. In other words, they are trying to attract a female, define their territory, and really distinguish the fact that they are reproductively fit. That’s kind of at least that’s our current hypothesis of why the males sing. And it’s amazing. When you’re diving– let’s say when we’re during our work during January and February– you’re down there and you can actually feel, if the whales are close enough, the reverberationsfrom the sounds because it’s that intense. And it almost makes it ethereal. It’s a very interesting feeling when you’re in an environment, first of all, that’s foreign to our bodies, being a liquid environment, and then all of a sudden you hear this sound that’s mystical.”

We’d like to hear about the way that you observe or celebrate the seasons of your year. Please call out toll free number 1-877-PULSE-99. That’s toll free 1-877-PULSE-99.

Pulse of the Planet is presented by the American Museum of Natural History. Additional funding for this series has been provided by the National Science Foundation. I’m Jim Metzner.

HAWAII- Humpback Whales

In Hawaii this month, the warm waters are ringing with the mating songs of humpback whales.
Air Date:02/18/1999
Scientist:
Transcript:

We're listening to the mating calls of humpback whales. This month, humpbacks are gathering in the warm waters off Hawaii, where they'll mate and give birth to their young. I'm Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet, presented by the American Museum of Natural History.

Eric Brown is a project director for the Pacific Whale foundation in Maui. Much of his research takes place underwater, where he's had some close encounters with these giant mammals.

"These sounds that we hear while we're diving are produced by males that are singing, we believe, in an effort to mate. In other words, they are trying to attract a female, define their territory, and really distinguish the fact that they are reproductively fit. That's kind of at least that's our current hypothesis of why the males sing. And it's amazing. When you're diving-- let's say when we're during our work during January and February-- you're down there and you can actually feel, if the whales are close enough, the reverberationsfrom the sounds because it's that intense. And it almost makes it ethereal. It's a very interesting feeling when you're in an environment, first of all, that's foreign to our bodies, being a liquid environment, and then all of a sudden you hear this sound that's mystical."

We'd like to hear about the way that you observe or celebrate the seasons of your year. Please call out toll free number 1-877-PULSE-99. That's toll free 1-877-PULSE-99.

Pulse of the Planet is presented by the American Museum of Natural History. Additional funding for this series has been provided by the National Science Foundation. I'm Jim Metzner.