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Humpback whales wail less as population grows
Those melancholy tunes sung by humpback whales may really be a sign of loneliness.
Scientists who tracked humpback whales in Australia noticed that fewer whales wailed to find mates as their population grew. “Humpback whale song is loud and travels far in the ocean,” said marine biologist Rebecca Dunlop.
As whale numbers dramatically rebounded following the end of commercial whaling, she noticed something unexpected. “It was getting more difficult to find singers,” said Dunlop.
Scientists first began to hear and study the songs of humpback whales in the 1970s, thanks to new underwater microphones. Only male whales sing, and the tunes are thought to play a role in attracting mates and asserting dominance.
wail：動詞，慟哭、悲嘆、呼嘯。例句：The wind wailed in the trees.（風在林中呼嘯。）
play a role：片語，扮演角色、發揮作用。例句：Music has played an important role in her everyday life.（音樂在她的日常生活中扮演重要角色。）
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