Plants and Animals

New Blue Whale Population in the Indian Ocean Identified By Unique Song

Every year humanity discovers new species or populations of existing species that we had no idea about before. But you might think that these are all small animals to hide from our eyes, they are not the biggest animals so far.  Yet, previously unknown populations of blue whales have discovered living in the western Indian Ocean; it may even represent a separate tribe of these ocean giants.

The story began in 2017 when African Aquatic Conservation Fund (AACF) scientists discovered a whale song they had never heard in front of the water between Mozambique and Madagascar. Whale songs can be detected at a distance of 150 kilometers (90 miles) in good condition, so with the right tools, it is much easier than visual identification of their makers. The blue whale population has distinct dialects in recognition of their songs, and researchers use it to identify a whale tribe, but this is different from anything previously recorded.

The AACF Dr. Salvatore Cerchio was involved in studying humpback whales off the coast of Oman. Reviewing recordings made a few years ago, he acknowledged a very similar song. Based on similarities with other Oman recordings as well as other song types and philosophies, Cerchio concluded that the song came from the blue whale but from a previously unknown population.

Cerchio said in a statement, “It was quite significant.” “Finding a whale song in your data that was completely unique has never been reported before and will recognize it as a blue whale.” It starts a search to find the limits of the whale song. Researchers at the University of New South Wales listened to Cerchio’s report to the Scientific Committee of the International Welling Commission and found that it was the same song they had recorded before the Cerchio archipelago in the Central Indian Ocean.

In endangered species studies, scientists from both groups have reported their results and their effects. This paper was evidence that members of this population hunted Soviet whale ships in the 19th Soviet0s, there was no song known as Sri Lankan than whale population. It is believed that 1,294 blue whales were taken to this slaughterhouse, where already a small population is on the verge of extinction.

We still don’t know how many whales this song has and whether their numbers are recovering from past cooling. However, the new paper “mentions a potentially limited range, intensive historical whales, and a small population that has not been previously identified as a type of song, needs to critique the status assessment and conservation activities.” The authors request more information about their numbers and scope.

Blue whales are no longer hunted for oil or meat, but they face the threat of global warming and shipwrecks. Living in unusually warm waters across major shipping routes, new populations can be particularly vulnerable. Whales play a multifaceted role in maintaining the marine ecosystem, redistributing their nutrients in areas where they are most needed. Blue whales may be predominant here.  Populations may be part of the brevicauda subspecies (also known as pygmy blue whales because they are smaller than their Antarctic parts) or more closely related to them than the larger subspecies. Either way, these are the largest animals in the world, but almost none.

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