Musician hiding in the sea (Humpback whale)

Musician hiding in the sea (Humpback whale)

The sea is the cradle that nourishes life and the creation of a magical pasture. The elves living in the coral reef are colorful and grotesque; all the elves who sail in the ocean have extraordinary skills, either peerless hunting kings and knights who are enthusiastic for ancient ways or artists who are good at performing.

Humpback whale the artist

Yes, the artist is not the exclusive title of human beings. In the vast ocean world, there are also elves with great talents for performing arts. Today we will talk about humpback whales who live in the sea and have a chivalrous heart.

In the open ocean far away from the coral reef, there are melodious chirping sounds, the sound is like the rhythm played by musical instruments; like a plume of smoke, sometimes high mountains and flowing water, suddenly clanging powerful, and if it is away, but the reverberant sounds around the beam, like a plume, ethereal and sweet intoxicating.

Mother and calf behavior of hump back whale
Mother and calf behavior of hump back whale (Photo credit: © Paul Nicklen Photography)

The halibut made this sound fascinating, but it was a strange and grotesque elf. The flat oval body, brown back, pure white abdomen, and two eyes growing on the side of the head, looks like alien creatures, but it is an indigenous creature in the authentic sea.

 “Haha, good luck. We caught up with the humpback whale for a concert. Go and see.” You whizzed out of the invisible mud and swam before the sound. After a long swim, we saw a big guy.

The humpback whale head is really big, with a length of 17 meters and a weight of more than 20 tons; the back skin is gray and black, but the abdomen is white as snow. The head has a large mouth, and there are dozens of raised tumors on the mouth, and each tumor has a hair on it.

(Photo credit: © Darryl Macdonald)

The most conspicuous thing is that big mouth and narrow fin wings. When its mouth is open, it can form a 90-degree angle, more than four meters in diameter, and can swallow countless krill and small fish.

When it meets such a food community, it will throw off the cheek and eat for 18 hours in a row, which is a veritable food. The long and narrow fins are more than five meters long, more than one ton, accounting for one-third of the length, but the dorsal fin is very short.

Sudden meet up with musician

“It’s really a humpback whale playing music!” we stopped in the distance and muttered excitedly. “its tweet will definitely attract more companions.”

“Yeah, today the weather is good, the sun is shining, and the water is clear. It is suitable for humpback whales to have a concert here to find a partner. We can watch it for free.”

We wandered around his grotesque eyes and replied: “Well, our luck is really good, just watch here, don’t disturb the humpback whale brothers close by.”

The humpback whale heard our words. The big guy turned his head slightly, glanced at the two elves, rolled his belly a little, and raised a fin wing to make a compliment. At this time, we noticed that there were four toes hidden on his fins.

Although the humpback whale responded to the two elves with body language, its tweet did not stop, and there was still a powerful and continuous voice in his throat. At first glance, it seems to be a roar without rules, but listening carefully is not the case.

The sound is ups and downs, orderly in length, and at least seven octaves can be distinguished, and it is still sounded according to a certain beat, scale length, and musical order. Connected in a musical way, this is the musical language of humpback whales

Whalesong melody

Mother and calf pair (Photo credit : Paul Hilton / Greenpeace )
Photo credit : © Paul Hilton / Greenpeace

According to the research of scientists, it is also found that humpback whales are good at singing in the “A-B-A” format commonly used by human singers, which is to sing a melody first, then elaborate further, and then return to the slightly changed original melody Come up.

In addition, they will also conduct “art exchanges”. For example, after the Indian Ocean humpback whales moved to Australia’s the Pacific Ocean, within three years, Australian “indigenous” humpback whales gave up their traditional repertoire and sang these. New songs brought by outsiders.

The humpback whale’s tweet did not last long, and there were many large figures in the dark waters in the distance. Under the dim light, their appearance became clearer and clearer.

Beginning of the concert

Bottoms up !

Moreover, they all respond with a strong rhythmic voice. After a while, these big guys showed their true colors, and a dozen humpback whales gathered together.

They gathered together, with their heads facing inwards and their tails facing outwards, forming a large circle. It also looks strange, with his head down, his butt and tail twitched, and his eyes communicate with each other, the sound continues to stretch, sometimes excited, sometimes melodious; sometimes two or three heads sing together, sometimes the whole group screams, the sound is loud and high, looks like it is the right folk song.

These sounds are similar to radio waves. They can’t be seen or touched, but they can travel far and far in ocean currents. As the concert entered its climax, the humpback whales screamed loudly, and the dynamic rhythm made the blood swell, which in turn turned into a low lingering stretch, like a stream trickling down.

They were so enchanted, but suddenly they turned into “Wan Wan Wan Wan” as if they were expressing their feelings of miss. Anyone who listened to it would be sad and weep. The atmosphere of the concert venue also became gloomy and suppressed.

“What’s the situation? I’m so sad to listen to this tune?”

“The sound is that the humpback whales are expressing their thoughts about their partners. I think the humpback whale girls will come soon.”

The arrival of angels

Beautiful baleen fairy
Beautiful baleen fairy (Photo credit : © Joy of Shamrock Quay)

The humpback whale voice did not fall, and the surrounding waters changed again. A dozen humpback whale girls appeared quietly. They are similar to the angels, coming from the mysterious world, and greeted the humpback whale boys who perform music to the same scale.

This moment is really wonderful. Their sound is very ethereal; the elves around them all feel like they came from heaven to the real world.

However, such a splendid moment only lasted for a while and then came to an abrupt end. The singing humpback whales in a circle spread out and swam towards the humpback whale girl with the same tone as her own. They are in love.

Long sighing sigh: “The singing of humpback whales is so beautiful; it is really a true musician in the sea!”

Finding the partners

“Yes! Their way of finding a partner is also more peculiar, full of literary and artistic styles, which really envy the elves.” The girls responded intoxicatedly. Although this chic concert was over, the story did not end. The humpback whale girls who came were one less than the boys.

Mating behavior of humpback whale
Credit: copyright ©Opération cétacés
Photo credit: © Opération cétacés

The humpback whale, who did not find his partner, felt a little lost, so he had to stop his singing, wagging his tail, and swam away in perplexity. But he didn’t swim far. He even made a deafening tweet as if a person stopped when they were angry. Seeing the end of the excitement, he was about to leave with shock.

An unprovoked invasion

Sudden invasion from killer whale
Killer whale attack (Photo © : JOURNEYMAN PICTURES)

“Ah! It is the killer whale who wants to eat dolphins.” They saw the killer whale chasing the dolphin in front of the humpback whale. The humpback whale, who didn’t find a partner, roared when he saw the uneven road. He rushed up, stopped in front of the killer whale, and protected the dolphin.

You can see clearly that the dolphin in danger is pregnant, and the humpback whale must rescue her. She must have thought of her as a mother. Sure enough, the humpback whale yelled at the killer whale loudly: “Asshole, sister Dolphin is about to give birth to a baby, how can you eat her? Go away!”

Although the killer whale is not as big as a humpback whale, he is the king of the toothed whale. The ultimate hunting king in the ocean eats all over the world with a sharp tooth without any opponent. Faced with the block of the humpback whale, he opened his mouth wide, exposing cold teeth to deter, and persuaded him to do nothing. “Humpback whale brother must be fast and beat the killer whale.” and I said, “They are all heroes of the ancient intestines.

They feel that they will not allow the weak to be bullied by the strong. in the end.” My friend dragged his eyes with claws and said, “I have also heard that humpback whales have the right to fight heroes, and they have seen something brave, but they haven’t seen the real thing yet, so I will open my eyes today.” At this moment, the killer whale had already started to act.

Humpback whale shield

Humpback whales,(Megaptera novaeangliae) and Dolphins ©
Photo credit : Paul Hilton / Greenpeace
Humpback whale shield (Photo credit : © Scott Portelli)

Killer whale faced the block of the humpback whale, and killer whale also stalked the wolf-two fears, but he was not willing to lose his prey. So he bypassed the humpback whale and attacked the dolphin in a roundabout way. The humpback whale hurriedly stretched out its long and narrow fin wings to protect the dolphin behind it, whirling with the killer whale.

But the killer whale is not a vegetarian by nature, nor is it a reasonable man, and the tough and greedy temper can’t be changed for a lifetime. “Yeah! I’m so mad!” The killer whale couldn’t eat the dolphin and became so angry that he risked attacking the humpback whale.

The humpback whale hurriedly flipped its body, holding the dolphin in its arms with one fin wing to protect it, and the other fin rounded the cheek of the killer whale. “Oh! Good words are hard to persuade the beating mouth!” He also got angry.

The killer whale knows the power of the humpback whales fins and wings. It is more than five meters long and has a ton of multiple weights. It is pulled on the body to ensure that the skin is open and the bones are broken.

He hurried deep down head-to-head, with huge, long, and narrow fins across the back of his head. “Humph! Humpy whales, who are busy with their business, do not want to stop me from eating dolphins.”

The killer whale refused to give up, turned his head in the waters below, and rushed back. Seeing that he was impatient, the humpback whale had to let go of the dolphin and pushed it back with its fins, allowing her to swim further.

The climax of the battle

Humpback whale rushing towards the killer whale and beating him hard. But killer whale hunting skills are very skilled, swimming skills are superb. “Oh! Fight against me? I’m not stupid. Fighting with you won’t take advantage of it. It’s my goal to eat dolphins.”

Humpback whale interferes with orca's attack
Humpback whale interferes with killer whale attack (Photo credit : © Shawn Heinrichs)

The killer whale made a sharp turn and dived. The humpback whale originally wanted to meet him, to give him a double-headed piercing ear and beat the gluttonous guy to the point where he ran away.

Unexpectedly, the killer whale was so smart that he dived deep down halfway and disappeared like lightning. We saw this place, and we were frightened and shouted in unison: “No! Killer whales are going to stealth attack the dolphins!”

“Haha! There is nothing terrible.” The humpback whale even responded to their tense cries, saying indifferently, “As long as I’m here, he doesn’t want to hurt the pregnant dolphin mother.”

The dolphin floated up quickly, the humpback whale let go of the dolphin
The humpback whale let go of the dolphin (Photo credit: © Paul F. Norris )

The dolphin floated up quickly. When approaching the sea, the humpback whale let go of the dolphin, turned around, stretched out its two large fin wings, and quietly waited for the killer whale to return. Sure enough, the dark water below was glaringly white, and the stubborn hunter rushed back.

“Gluttonous guy, beating you without consultation!” The humpback whale rushed up against the killer whale, tumbling up suddenly at the moment of passing. The two big fins pumped up fiercely, bang! The killer whale couldn’t dodge it, unfortunately it was beaten by fat. “Mother! It hurts!” The killer whale suffered a big loss, and turned away from it in fright.

The dolphin was saved. The humpback whale was watching us, and said with a smile: “Small, our concert is over, and my fat beating killer whale has also seen it. Hurry back to the coral reef. It is very dangerous outside! ” We only realized that this humpback whale and his friends had long known that they were watching, and hurriedly greeted him for his reminder. Then go together, go back to the coral reef, and go to the elves to share the story I just saw.

Science Tips:

Humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae), also known as blow-back whales, giant arm whales, and great wing whales. The average body length is 12.9 meters for males and 13.7 meters for females, with a maximum recorded female length of 18 meters. Weight 25~30 tons.

The pectoral fin is extremely thin and narrow, about 550 centimeters, almost one-third of the body length, with four toes on the fin limbs, which is bird-shaped. It has a gentle temperament, migratory habits, and a slower swimming speed. The staple food is small crustaceans and small fishes swimming in groups. It is good at complex tweets with a rich sense of rhythm.

It is praised by humans as a singer (music) in the ocean. The average life span is 60 to 70 years. Humpback whales are not passive victims. They are known to fight aggressively against orcas, hence the name of the “escort” whales.

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Reference :

Samarra, F.I., Bassoi, M., Béesau, J., Elíasdóttir, M.Ó., Gunnarsson, K., Mrusczok, M.T., Rasmussen, M., Rempel, J.N., Thorvaldsson, B. and Víkingsson, G.A., 2018. Prey of killer whales (Orcinus orca) in Iceland. PloS one13(12), p.e0207287.

Photo and video source credit :

The videos and pictures in this article are taken by Paul Nicklen PhotographyBBCDarryl MacdonaldPaul Hilton / Greenpeace, Joy of Shamrock Quay, Scott Portelli, JOURNEYMAN PICTURES, Shawn Heinrichs, Paul F. Norris and You-Tube.

Rajitha Dissanayake

Researcher in the field of Marine Mammals and Bio-acoustic

I'm a Master’s student in marine mammals and bio-acoustic laboratory, Institute of Deep-Sea Science and Engineering (IDSSE), Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) and focusing on the sustainable environmental application, conservation, and exploring all aspects of the ecology and behavior of marine mammals.

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