It turns out the songs that humpback whales have been singing for years may have been every bit as melancholy as they sounded.
- Australian researchers have found that as the population of humpback whales has grown, the ocean mammals have been singing far less often than they used to. "It was getting more difficult to actually find singers," says marine biologist Rebecca Dunlop. "When there were fewer of them, there was a lot of singing. Now that there are lots of them, no need to be singing so much."
- That's because whales sing to attract mates, Dunlop explains. However, now that Australia's humpback population has grown from 200 in the 1960s to more than 27,000 today, there's no need for whales to search for mates miles away, she says.