Repertoire and classification of non-song calls in Southeast Alaskan humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae).

Academic Article


  • On low-latitude breeding grounds, humpback whales produce complex and highly stereotyped songs as well as a range of non-song sounds associated with breeding behaviors. While on their Southeast Alaskan foraging grounds, humpback whales produce a range of previously unclassified non-song vocalizations. This study investigates the vocal repertoire of Southeast Alaskan humpback whales from a sample of 299 non-song vocalizations collected over a 3-month period on foraging grounds in Frederick Sound, Southeast Alaska. Three classification systems were used, including aural spectrogram analysis, statistical cluster analysis, and discriminant function analysis, to describe and classify vocalizations. A hierarchical acoustic structure was identified; vocalizations were classified into 16 individual call types nested within four vocal classes. The combined classification method shows promise for identifying variability in call stereotypy between vocal groupings and is recommended for future classification of broad vocal repertoires.
  • Authors

  • Fournet, Michelle
  • Szabo, Andy
  • Mellinger, David K
  • Status

    Publication Date

  • January 2015
  • Keywords

  • Animals
  • Arctic Regions
  • Cluster Analysis
  • Discriminant Analysis
  • Feeding Behavior
  • Humpback Whale
  • Sound Spectrography
  • Species Specificity
  • Stereotyped Behavior
  • Vocalization, Animal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 25618033
  • Start Page

  • 1
  • End Page

  • 10
  • Volume

  • 137
  • Issue

  • 1