Dolphin Research: Summaries

seeing through sound

understanding language

understanding questions

communication through television


pointing gestures

awareness of one's own behaviors

awareness of one's own body parts

behavioral mimicry

dolphin research publications

Whale Research: Summaries

background of whale research

alaskan humpbacks

hawaiians and humpbacks

mating and reproduction

migration and habitat use

role of size

social behavior on winter grounds

whale song

whale research publications

Ethology 98 (1994) 298-311

Diurnal Patterns of Behaviour and Group Membership of Humpback Whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) Wintering in Hawaiian Waters

David A. Helweg
Department of Psychology, University of Auckland, Private Bag 92019, Auckland, New Zealand (corresponding author)
Louis M. Herman
Department of Psychology and Kewalo Basin Marine Mammal Laboratory,
University of Hawaii
(C) 1994 Blackwell Wissenschafts-Verlag, Berlin

We examined the behaviour of humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) in Hawaiian waters in relation to time of day using visual observations from shore platforms and acoustic observations using hydrophones. As humpbacks are not observed to feed in Hawaiian waters, we assumed that the data were free from the influence of diel cycles of prey availability. The majority of mothers with calves were likely to be escorted by one or more male consorts only after 0700 h. The percentage of pods with three or more adults increased across the day and the rates of male-male agonistic behaviour such as breaching that may serve as visual and/or acoustic signals. No diel variation in the numbers of singers was observed, suggesting that the number of singers was independent of the late afternoon peak in male-male competition within the surface active groups. The results suggest that the whales were resting in the dawn hours, behaviour related to mating begins shortly after sunrise, and that male-male competition peaked in the afternoon. (C) 1994 Blackwell Wissenschafts-Verlag, Berlin.

ISSN 0179-1613
Helweg, D. A. & Herman, L. M. (1994). Diurnal Patterns of Behaviour and Group Membership of Huimpaback Whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) Wintering in Hawaiian Waters. Ethology, 98, 298-311.

Back to Top

Dolphin Programs | Whale Programs | Education Programs | Our Research | Resource Guide

Copyright © 2002, The Dolphin Institute