Social calls in humpback whale mother-calf groups off Sainte Marie breeding ground (Madagascar, Indian Ocean) - Sorbonne Université Access content directly
Journal Articles (Review Article) PeerJ Year : 2022

Social calls in humpback whale mother-calf groups off Sainte Marie breeding ground (Madagascar, Indian Ocean)

Anjara Saloma
  • Function : Author
Maevatiana Ratsimbazafindranahaka
Mathilde Martin
  • Function : Author
Aristide Andrianarimisa
  • Function : Author
Chloé Huetz
  • Function : Author
Olivier Adam
Isabelle Charrier

Abstract

Humpback whales ( Megaptera novaeangliae ) use vocalizations during diverse social interactions or activities such as foraging or mating. Unlike songs produced only by males, social calls are produced by all types of individuals (adult males and females, juveniles and calves). Several studies have described social calls in the humpback whale’s breeding and the feeding grounds and from different geographic areas. We aimed to investigate for the first time the vocal repertoire of humpback whale mother-calf groups during the breeding season off Sainte Marie island, Madagascar, South Western Indian Ocean using data collected in 2013, 2014, 2016, and 2017. We recorded social calls using Acousonde tags deployed on the mother or the calf in mother-calf groups. A total of 21 deployments were analyzed. We visually and aurally identified 30 social call types and classified them into five categories: low, medium, high-frequency sounds, amplitude-modulated sounds, and pulsed sounds. The aural-visual classifications have been validated using random forest (RF) analyses. Low-frequency sounds constituted 46% of all social calls, mid-frequency 35%, and high frequency 10%. Amplitude-modulated sounds constituted 8% of all vocalizations, and pulsed sounds constituted 1%. While some social call types seemed specific to our study area, others presented similarities with social calls described in other geographic areas, on breeding and foraging grounds, and during migrating routes. Among the call types described in this study, nine call types were also found in humpback whale songs recorded in the same region. The 30 call types highlight the diversity of the social calls recorded in mother-calf groups and thus the importance of acoustic interactions in the relationships between the mother and her calf and between the mother-calf pair and escorts.
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Dates and versions

hal-03950864 , version 1 (22-01-2023)

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Anjara Saloma, Maevatiana Ratsimbazafindranahaka, Mathilde Martin, Aristide Andrianarimisa, Chloé Huetz, et al.. Social calls in humpback whale mother-calf groups off Sainte Marie breeding ground (Madagascar, Indian Ocean). PeerJ, 2022, 10, pp.e13785. ⟨10.7717/peerj.13785⟩. ⟨hal-03950864⟩
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