Fig_S-3 from Fin whale singing decreases with increased swimming speed.
journal contributionposted on 01.06.2019, 04:50 by Christopher W. Clark, George J. Gagnon, Adam S. Frankel
The attributes of male acoustic advertisement displays are often related to a performer's age, breeding condition and motivation, but these relationships are particularly difficult to study in free-ranging marine mammals. For fin whale singers, we examined the relationships between a singer's swimming speed, song duration and amount of singing. We used a unique set of fin whale singing and swimming data collected in support of the US Navy's marine mammal monitoring programme associated with the Navy's Integrated Undersea Surveillance System. A goal of the programme is to improve understanding of the potential effects of anthropogenic sound sources on baleen whale behaviours and populations. We found that as whales swam faster, some continued to sing, while others did not. If swimming speed is an indication of male stamina, then singing while swimming faster could be a display by which females and/or other males assess a singer's physical fitness and potential reproductive quality. Results have implications for interpreting fin whale singing behaviour and the possible influences of anthropogenic sounds on fin whale mating strategies and breeding success.