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Keywords:

  • acoustic communication;
  • baleen whales;
  • captive behavior;
  • Gulf of California;
  • Balaenoptera edeni;
  • Bryde's whale

Abstract: Vocalizations were recorded from a captive juvenile Bryde's whale, Balaenoptera edeni, that stranded off the gulf coast of Florida (Pinellas Co.) and was held at Sea World of Florida. The most common vocalization was a pulsed moan with durations of 0.5–51 set and acoustic energy from 200–900 Ht. Although these sounds are unlike any reported previously from this species, there are similarities to moans recorded opportunistically during a feeding study of free-ranging B. edeni in the Gulf of California (GOC). The pulsed moans recorded from Bryde's whale adults in the GOC were shorter in duration (0.7–1.4 set) than those recorded from the captive juvenile, but the frequencies were similar (165–875 Hz). In addition, a series of discrete, regularly spaced pulses (interpulse interval = 0.5–1.0 set, 700–950 Hz) were recorded only in the presence of Bryde's whale calves in the GOC.

Pulse rates produced by the captive juvenile (20–70 pulses/set) were intermediate between those recorded in the presence of GOC adults (60–130/sec) and calves (10–20/set). With these limited data it is not possible to determine to what extent the intermediate qualities of the juvenile call reflect maturational differences in the sound production apparatus, a phase of learning to vocalize like an adult, or the characteristics of a context-dependent call not recorded in the GOC.