Skip to content

Research at St Andrews

Song hybridization events during revolutionary song change provide insights into cultural transmission in humpback whales

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Standard

Song hybridization events during revolutionary song change provide insights into cultural transmission in humpback whales. / Garland, Ellen C.; Rendell, Luke; Lamoni, Luca; Poole, M. Michael; Noad, Michael J.

In: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, Vol. 114, No. 30, 25.07.2017, p. 7822-7829.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Harvard

Garland, EC, Rendell, L, Lamoni, L, Poole, MM & Noad, MJ 2017, 'Song hybridization events during revolutionary song change provide insights into cultural transmission in humpback whales', Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, vol. 114, no. 30, pp. 7822-7829. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1621072114

APA

Garland, E. C., Rendell, L., Lamoni, L., Poole, M. M., & Noad, M. J. (2017). Song hybridization events during revolutionary song change provide insights into cultural transmission in humpback whales. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 114(30), 7822-7829. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1621072114

Vancouver

Garland EC, Rendell L, Lamoni L, Poole MM, Noad MJ. Song hybridization events during revolutionary song change provide insights into cultural transmission in humpback whales. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 2017 Jul 25;114(30):7822-7829. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1621072114

Author

Garland, Ellen C. ; Rendell, Luke ; Lamoni, Luca ; Poole, M. Michael ; Noad, Michael J. / Song hybridization events during revolutionary song change provide insights into cultural transmission in humpback whales. In: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 2017 ; Vol. 114, No. 30. pp. 7822-7829.

Bibtex - Download

@article{921667f39ae74d0eb3c62befbc5d64d1,
title = "Song hybridization events during revolutionary song change provide insights into cultural transmission in humpback whales",
abstract = "Cultural processes occur in a wide variety of animal taxa, from insects to cetaceans. The songs of humpback whales are one of the most striking examples of the transmission of a cultural trait and social learning in any nonhuman animal. To understand how songs are learned, we investigate rare cases of song hybridization, where parts of an existing song are spliced with a new one, likely before an individual totally adopts the new song. Song unit sequences were extracted from over 9,300 phrases recorded during two song revolutions across the South Pacific Ocean, allowing fine-scale analysis of composition and sequencing. In hybrid songs the current and new songs were spliced together in two specific ways: (i) singers placed a single hybrid phrase, in which content from both songs were combined, between the two song types when transitioning from one to the other, and/or (ii) singers spliced complete themes from the revolutionary song into the current song. Sequence analysis indicated that both processes were governed by structural similarity rules. Hybrid phrases or theme substitutions occurred at points in the songs where both songs contained “similar sounds arranged in a similar pattern.” Songs appear to be learned as segments (themes/phrase types), akin to birdsong and human language acquisition, and these can be combined in predictable ways if the underlying structural pattern is similar. These snapshots of song change provide insights into the mechanisms underlying song learning in humpback whales, and comparative perspectives on the evolution of human language and culture.",
keywords = "Vocal learning, Cultural transmission, Song, Cetacean, Humpback whale",
author = "Garland, {Ellen C.} and Luke Rendell and Luca Lamoni and Poole, {M. Michael} and Noad, {Michael J.}",
note = "E.C.G. and this study were supported by a Newton International Fellowship from the Royal Society of London; L.L. was supported by Leverhulme Trust Research Project Grant RPG-2013-367; L.R. was supported by the Marine Alliance for Science and Technology for Scotland (MASTS) pooling initiative. MASTS is funded by the Scottish Funding Council (Grant HR09011) and contributing institutions. Song recordings in eastern Australia were funded by the Scott Foundation, the US Office of Naval Research, and the Australian Defence Science and Technology Organization. We thank everyone involved with this project. Some funding and logistical support was provided to M.M.P. by the US National Oceanic Society, Dolphin & Whale Watching Expeditions (French Polynesia), Vista Press, and the International Fund for Animal Welfare (via the South Pacific Whale Research Consortium).",
year = "2017",
month = "7",
day = "25",
doi = "10.1073/pnas.1621072114",
language = "English",
volume = "114",
pages = "7822--7829",
journal = "Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America",
issn = "0027-8424",
publisher = "NATL ACAD SCIENCES",
number = "30",

}

RIS (suitable for import to EndNote) - Download

TY - JOUR

T1 - Song hybridization events during revolutionary song change provide insights into cultural transmission in humpback whales

AU - Garland, Ellen C.

AU - Rendell, Luke

AU - Lamoni, Luca

AU - Poole, M. Michael

AU - Noad, Michael J.

N1 - E.C.G. and this study were supported by a Newton International Fellowship from the Royal Society of London; L.L. was supported by Leverhulme Trust Research Project Grant RPG-2013-367; L.R. was supported by the Marine Alliance for Science and Technology for Scotland (MASTS) pooling initiative. MASTS is funded by the Scottish Funding Council (Grant HR09011) and contributing institutions. Song recordings in eastern Australia were funded by the Scott Foundation, the US Office of Naval Research, and the Australian Defence Science and Technology Organization. We thank everyone involved with this project. Some funding and logistical support was provided to M.M.P. by the US National Oceanic Society, Dolphin & Whale Watching Expeditions (French Polynesia), Vista Press, and the International Fund for Animal Welfare (via the South Pacific Whale Research Consortium).

PY - 2017/7/25

Y1 - 2017/7/25

N2 - Cultural processes occur in a wide variety of animal taxa, from insects to cetaceans. The songs of humpback whales are one of the most striking examples of the transmission of a cultural trait and social learning in any nonhuman animal. To understand how songs are learned, we investigate rare cases of song hybridization, where parts of an existing song are spliced with a new one, likely before an individual totally adopts the new song. Song unit sequences were extracted from over 9,300 phrases recorded during two song revolutions across the South Pacific Ocean, allowing fine-scale analysis of composition and sequencing. In hybrid songs the current and new songs were spliced together in two specific ways: (i) singers placed a single hybrid phrase, in which content from both songs were combined, between the two song types when transitioning from one to the other, and/or (ii) singers spliced complete themes from the revolutionary song into the current song. Sequence analysis indicated that both processes were governed by structural similarity rules. Hybrid phrases or theme substitutions occurred at points in the songs where both songs contained “similar sounds arranged in a similar pattern.” Songs appear to be learned as segments (themes/phrase types), akin to birdsong and human language acquisition, and these can be combined in predictable ways if the underlying structural pattern is similar. These snapshots of song change provide insights into the mechanisms underlying song learning in humpback whales, and comparative perspectives on the evolution of human language and culture.

AB - Cultural processes occur in a wide variety of animal taxa, from insects to cetaceans. The songs of humpback whales are one of the most striking examples of the transmission of a cultural trait and social learning in any nonhuman animal. To understand how songs are learned, we investigate rare cases of song hybridization, where parts of an existing song are spliced with a new one, likely before an individual totally adopts the new song. Song unit sequences were extracted from over 9,300 phrases recorded during two song revolutions across the South Pacific Ocean, allowing fine-scale analysis of composition and sequencing. In hybrid songs the current and new songs were spliced together in two specific ways: (i) singers placed a single hybrid phrase, in which content from both songs were combined, between the two song types when transitioning from one to the other, and/or (ii) singers spliced complete themes from the revolutionary song into the current song. Sequence analysis indicated that both processes were governed by structural similarity rules. Hybrid phrases or theme substitutions occurred at points in the songs where both songs contained “similar sounds arranged in a similar pattern.” Songs appear to be learned as segments (themes/phrase types), akin to birdsong and human language acquisition, and these can be combined in predictable ways if the underlying structural pattern is similar. These snapshots of song change provide insights into the mechanisms underlying song learning in humpback whales, and comparative perspectives on the evolution of human language and culture.

KW - Vocal learning

KW - Cultural transmission

KW - Song

KW - Cetacean

KW - Humpback whale

UR - http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2017/07/18/1621072114.abstract

U2 - 10.1073/pnas.1621072114

DO - 10.1073/pnas.1621072114

M3 - Article

VL - 114

SP - 7822

EP - 7829

JO - Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

JF - Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

SN - 0027-8424

IS - 30

ER -

Related by author

  1. Migratory convergence facilitates cultural transmission of humpback whale song

    Owen, C., Rendell, L., Constantine, R., Noad, M. J., Allen, J., Andrews, O., Garrigue, C., Poole, M. M., Donnelly, D., Hauser, N. & Garland, E. C., 4 Sep 2019, In : Royal Society Open Science. 6, 9, 15 p., 190337.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  2. Animal cultures matter for conservation

    Brakes, P., Dall, S. R. X., Aplin, L. M., Bearhop, S., Carroll, E. L., Ciucci, P., Fishlock, V., Ford, J. K. B., Garland, E. C., Keith, S. A., McGregor, P. K., Mesnick, S. L., Noad, M. J., Notarbartolo di Sciara, G., Robbins, M. M., Simmonds, M. P., Spina, F., Thornton, A., Wade, P. R., Whiting, M. J. & 5 others, Williams, J., Rendell, L., Whitehead, H., Whiten, A. & Rutz, C., 8 Mar 2019, In : Science. 363, 6431, p. 1032-1034 5 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  3. Using agent-based models to understand the role of individuals in the song evolution of humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae)

    Mcloughlin, M., Lamoni, L., Garland, E. C., Ingram, S., Kirke, A., Noad, M. J., Rendell, L. & Miranda, E., 2018, In : Music & Science. 1, 17 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  4. The devil is in the detail: quantifying vocal variation in a complex, multi-levelled, and rapidly evolving display

    Garland, E. C., Rendell, L., Lilley, M. S., Poole, M. M., Allen, J. & Noad, M. J., 31 Jul 2017, In : Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. 142, 1, p. 460-472 13 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  5. Adapting a computational multi agent model for humpback whale song research for use as a tool for algorithmic composition

    Mcloughlin, M., Ingram, S., Rendell, L. E., Lamoni, L. U., Kirke, A., Garland, E. C., Noad, M. & Miranda, E., 31 Aug 2016, Proceedings SMC 2016. Großmann, R. & Hajdu, G. (eds.). Hochschule für Musik und Theater Hamburg, p. 274-280 (Proceedings of the SMC Conferences).

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Related by journal

  1. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (Journal)

    Michael Martin Nevels (Guest editor)
    Jul 2016 → …

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesEditor of research journal

  2. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (Journal)

    Oscar Eduardo Gaggiotti (Member of editorial board)
    1 Jan 2013 → …

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesPeer review of manuscripts

  3. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (Journal)

    Terry K Smith (Member of editorial board)
    2012 → …

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesPeer review of manuscripts

  4. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (Journal)

    Terry K Smith (Member of editorial board)
    2008 → …

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesPeer review of manuscripts

  5. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (Journal)

    Gareth Brian Miles (Reviewer)
    2006 → …

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesPeer review of manuscripts

Related by journal

  1. Acute social isolation alters neurogenomic state in songbird forebrain

    George, J., Bell, Z., Condliffe, D., Doher, K., Abaurrea, T., Spencer, K., Leitao, A., Gahr, M., Hurd, P. & Clayton, D. F., 22 Jul 2019, In : Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. Latest Articles

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  2. Asymmetries between achromatic and chromatic extraction of 3D motion signals

    Kaestner, M., Maloney, R., Wailes-Newson, K., Bloj, M., Harris, J., Morland, A. & Wade, A., 17 Jun 2019, In : Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. Latest Articles, 10 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  3. Great apes use self-experience to anticipate an agent’s action in a false belief test

    Kano, F., Krupenye, C., Hirata, S., Tomonaga, M. & Call, J., 30 Sep 2019, In : Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. Latest Articles

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  4. Limited oxygen production in the Mesoarchean ocean

    Ossa Ossa, F., Hofmann, A., Spangenberg, J. E., Poulton, S. W., Stüeken, E. E., Schoenberg, R., Eickmann, B., Wille, M., Butler, M. & Bekker, A., 2 Apr 2019, In : Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 116, 14, p. 6647-6652 6 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

ID: 250524149

Top