Songs of the Humpback Whale + Earth Day
Almost 50 years ago, Roger Payne and Scott McVay published a paper about humpback whale song in the journal Science (September 1971). Payne had first introduced humpback whale song to the world the year before with a vinyl record called “Songs of the Humpback Whale.” The album was released within months of the newly declared Earth Day. Humpback whales became a symbol of conservation efforts around the world, including the Save the Whales campaigns of the time. Their songs became one of the forces that led to the landmark environmental and conservation successes of the 1970s and 80s.
Whale song ignited our collective imagination. We became aware of a society with complex and mysterious communications – beyond our own. Humpback whale song revealed just how little we knew about our ocean planet.
With nearly fifty years of research since the publication of that first paper, we’re still trying to figure out why they sing and their song still captivates us. For us, Earth Day is every day. Cracking the code around humpback whale song has been the cornerstone of our research since we began as an organization.
We are committed to helping uncover these mysteries so that we can better understand and protect this planet — for all of us. Happy 50th Earth Day!
SHARE YOUR STORY
When did you hear humpback whale song for the first time? Send your story to firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love to hear from you!
|Born Wild: The Next Generation|
In early March, the Whale Trust research team worked as field consultants with Brian Skerry from National Geographic and a team from ABC to film an Earth Day special featuring humpbacks in Hawaii. The program, “Born Wild: The Next Generation,” premiers tonight at 8/7c on National Geographic. Watch the preview below and tune in tonight!