Communication and Perception
North Pacific right whales use vocalizations extensively, as do other whales. Their vocalizations include both complex and simple, low-frequency sounds. The low-frequency sounds have been described as "belch-like." Other sounds include moans, grunts, sighs, and bellows. In a study of north Pacific right whale vocalization in the Bering Sea, over 80% of vocalizations were "up-calls," calls that were frequency modulated and ended on a higher frequency. These calls were from 90 to 150 Hz and about 0.7 seconds in duration. The remainder of calls were either "down-up calls," with a downward frequency change before becoming an up call (5%) or constant frequency moans. North Pacific right whale calls are generally less than 250 Hz and occur at irregular intervals of over 10 seconds apart.
Communication Channels: acoustic
Perception Channels: visual ; acoustic
- Munger, L., S. Wiggins, S. Moore, J. Hildebrand. 2008. North Pacific right whale (Eubalaena japonica) seasonal and diel calling patterns from long-term acoustic recordings in the southeastern Bering Sea, 2000–2006. Marine Mammal Science, 24: 795-814.