Unrequited Love Songs

Fin whales make some of the ocean's loudest sounds

10-01-2002 // Mark Cheater

They are among the loudest and most ubiquitous sounds of the deep, but until recently the purpose of "songs" from fin whales was a mystery. Now, a group of scientists working in Mexico has found that only males sing, indicating that the low-frequency vocalizations may be mating calls to distant female fin whales. If this is so, the scientists say, the increasing noise from ships, sonars and other human sources could interfere with the breeding, and ultimately the survival, of this endangered species.

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