by Daniel Hoshizaki
"Artists of the Sea"
Humpbacks exhibit marvelously complex social behaviors that rival some of the most passionate, emotional, and aggressive behaviors exhibited by human beings. Humpback whales are fighters, frequently displaying their might and eagerly participating in brawls of epic proportions during mating season. Not all their outbursts of emotion are violent, however, and their passion can be channeled through an elegant dance or song. Courtship dances after fierce melees involve longing gestures and gentle swirls that can continue for hours. The complex and lengthy songs emitted by humpbacks further demonstrate their innate artistic talents. Possessing rhythm, hierarchy, themes, and even personal character, each song is a sophisticated musical composition that is continually shaped by the singer and the wider social community the whale is trying to engage. Humpbacks, like other whales, are masterful performers who describe some of the many thoughts and emotions that course through our oceans.
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