Acoustic signalling and behaviour of Antarctic minke whales (Balaenoptera bonaerensis ).

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Acoustic signalling is the predominant form of communication among cetaceans. Understanding the behavioural state of calling individuals can provide insights into the specific function of sound production; in turn, this information can aid the evaluation of passive monitoring datasets to estimate species presence, density, and behaviour. Antarctic minke whales are the most numerous baleen whale species in the Southern Ocean. However, our knowledge of their vocal behaviour is limited. Using, to our knowledge, the first animal-borne audio-video documentation of underwater behaviour in this species, we characterize Antarctic minke whale sound production and evaluate the association between acoustic behaviour, foraging behaviour, diel patterns and the presence of close conspecifics. In addition to the previously described downsweep call, we find evidence of three novel calls not previously described in their vocal repertoire. Overall, these signals displayed peak frequencies between 90 and 175 Hz and ranged from 0.2 to 0.8 s on average (90% duration). Additionally, each of the four call types was associated with measured behavioural and environmental parameters. Our results represent a significant advancement in understanding of the life history of this species and improve our capacity to acoustically monitor minke whales in a rapidly changing Antarctic region.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Casey, CB; Weindorf, S; Levy, E; Linsky, JMJ; Cade, DE; Goldbogen, JA; Nowacek, DP; Friedlaender, AS

Published Date

  • July 2022

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 9 / 7

Start / End Page

  • 211557 -

PubMed ID

  • 35911199

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC9326272

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 2054-5703

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 2054-5703

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1098/rsos.211557


  • eng