Mysticete (baleen) whales produce a variety of vocalizations and sounds, but relatively few of these have been well described with accompanying behavior. This review concentrates on the vocalizations consistently associated with behavioral interactions or acoustic exchanges between or among conspecifics. These communication “signals” have been categorized for this review as contact calls of single animals outside of the breeding season (including cow-calf pairs), vocalizations reported during the breeding season (often designated as ''songs''), and calls produced by active groups of whales that may or may not have a reproductive function. While much remains unknown, the data obtained thus far indicate that the social vocalizations of baleen whales have structural/functional similarities with those of other mammals and birds.
baleen whales, communication, vocalization, contact calls, song