Whale and Dolphin Sounds

Whale and dolphin sounds is great.

They are important means of communication and orientation because under the water surface, the visibility decreases while sounds travel much quicker in the water than in the air.

Whales and dolphins have therefore a very good sense of hearing while their eyesight and sense of smell are not excellent. Here is some information on whale and dolphin sounds.

Whales Sounds

Southern Right Whale in Waters Off the Auckland Islands
Poster by AllPosters. Click on thumbnail to buy

Large baleen whales can make very loud noise, which used to scare early sailors, and they can also make long, low-frequent noises called whale song.

They also make noise when they jump out of water.

The noise of splashing water when they breach, or noises made by lobtailing or splashing with flippers are thought to be part of their  communication.

Dolphin Sounds

A Bottlenose Dolphin Swims in the Aquarium at Sea Life Park
Poster by AllPosters. Click on thumbnail to buy

Toothed whales including dolphins don't make the long low-frequency sounds that baleen whales do.

They make a wide variety of short noises like whistles, clicks,
squeals, squeaks and barks.

Single clicks are used mostly for echolocation, while series of clicks are more common
when communicating.

Humpback Whale Sounds

Humpback Whales, Hawaii
Poster by AllPosters. Click on thumbnail to buy

Humpback whale is a baleen whale that is particularly known for its extensive and complex whale songs.

But it also makes some other interesting noises, like short sounds during courtship, and it has a feeding call.

Humpbacks feed in groups so it is likely a call for the group to gather.

Whale Songs

Blue Whale, Surfacing, Baja Califor
Poster by AllPosters. Click on thumbnail to buy

Humpback Whale, and some subspecies of Blue Whale, are known for whale songs. These are series of sounds repeated over the time.
All the whales of the same species in the same area sing the same song, while in different oceans they sing a totally different one. Whale songs also change over the time. They evolve slowly, some phrases will be changed and finally a new song develops. The old songs seem not to come up again.

Humpback Whale Songs

Humpback Whales, Hawaii
Poster by AllPosters. Click on thumbnail to buy

Humpback whale song
is thought to have a sexual purpose, because they only sing during the mating season. They are very complex songs where collections of repeated sub-phrases build a phrase, collections of repeated phrases build a theme, and collections of themes build a song. The songs are repeated over many hours or days. They have been described as not only the most complex whale and dolphin sounds but probably the most complex sounds in all the world's animals.


Orca Soundings

Porpoise Songs

Custom Search


What's New

Whale News!

About Us

About Using Content

You Are Secure!

[?] Subscribe To This Site

follow us in feedly
Add to My Yahoo!
Add to My MSN
Subscribe with Bloglines

Bookmark and Share