Blue whales, the earth’s largest mammals are said to be singing at increasingly lower frequencies all over the world.
Scientists have noted that the pitch at which Blue Whales ‘sing’ has and is, changing to increasingly lower pitches.
Scientists are unable to offer more than conjecture to explain the reasons for the change in tune…..
The calls of the whales are much like a growling sound at frequencies which are already barely audible to the human ear.
The songs which have been individually identified have remained almost the same for several decades of recording but for falling frequency levels.
The first explanations put forward were that the Whales were lowering the tone to combat increasing noise within the oceans from shipping and other human sources. Countering that is the noise competition is at already very low frequencies so higher pitches would have been more effective.
Another is that as whale populations have increased due to their protected status, and whales have been able to grow to far greater size as they age longer, they develop deeper voices, and that as populations increased the calls to each other have to travel less far so higher pitches – which would travel further – would not be necessary. These theories are discounted as in spite of the fact that the Whales reach maturity in about eight years and numbers in population have been stable for more than thirty years now the whale call pitch continues to fall in level.
It may simply be that it boils down to a case of the deeper the voice, the bigger the whale and therefore the deep voice attracts the female to the supposedly bigger and better genes in the deeper calling whale?
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