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 Two different species, but...

Perhaps all animals are more connected in their behavior than we have imagined. A comparison of the behavior of humpback whales and the knights of old presents an interesting study. Knights lived to fight with each other to win the heart of a lady. They also practiced their musical skills so that they could impress their ladies with melody and thoughts of love. It appears that the same traits are exhibited by bull humpback whales! 

In the winter of 1978, a dedicated team of young researchers began a study of humpback whales off the Hawaiian island of Maui. One of the leaders of the team was Jim Darling, a Canadian graduate student of zoology who had recorded humpback songs. In addition to recording, Jim started a project of his own, photographing and identifying individual humpbacks by the distinctive black-and-white markings on the undersides of their tails. Jim later teamed up with a  fellow graduate student, Peter Tyack, and a dozen other researchers. Together, the group broadened their studies to include humpback singing and behavior.

After many recording and photographs, this remarkable team has shown that whale song, or singing, is probably an aspect of courtship. Cow humpbacks are impressed by a good singer! The singing, however, also represents very aggressive male behavior, and indicates fierce bull competition for female companionship. Humpback bulls are like warriors of old, who needed to demonstrate skills in the musical arts as well as with the sword to win their ladies! 

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