Part of our objective here in Panama is to listen for humpback whale song.
Humpback whales are known for their long complex songs, which are a series of
themes and phrases that are repeated. Only the males sing, and they only sing on
the breeding areas indicating it is part of their mating behavior. Sadly, our
hydrophone died a few days ago, but the backup is on the way soon!
Meanwhile, we are using our intrepid intern Megan as a human hydrophone. Today
we saw a whale that was exhibiting classic singer behavior…a single whale staying
down for long periods of time (up to 20 minutes) and surfacing in the same
general area. Megan offered to slip into the water to see if she could hear
singing. With her help we learned that this whale was NOT a singer, and she got
the chance to cool off! Thank you Megan for putting in the extra effort in the
name of science!