The function of whale song, even the better-studied song of the humpback whale, has long baffled marine scientists. Songs of the blue whale, the planets largest living creature, can be divided into at least 10 types worldwide, each type retaining the same units and similar phrasing over decades, unlike humpback whale song which changes substantially from year to year. That is until recently with a Â worldwide occurrence of a nearly linear downward shift in the tonal frequencies of blue whale song.
â€œWe donâ€™t have the answer. We just have a lot of recordings,â€ Whale Acoustics President Mark McDonald explained to Wired. The company specializes in analyzing the cetaceans with sonic monitoring networks and ships. Their recordings are grist for experts hoping to unravel this mystery. â€œItâ€™s a fascinating finding. Itâ€™s even more remarkable, given that the songs themselves differ in different oceans. There seem to be these distinct populations, yet theyâ€™re all showing this common shift,â€ Cascadia Research Collective blue-whale expert John Calombokidis adds.