Minke Whale: Photo by fugm10 on Flickr.
At 7 – 10 meters ( 23- 33 feet) the Minke whale is the smallest of the Mysticetes or “baleen whales.” As such they are also the smallest of the Rorquals – which include (from ‘small’ to large) the Bryde’s, Sei, Fin, and Blue whale (the largest of any vertebrates to live on the planet).
Rorqual vocalizations are mostly comprised of very low frequency, long wavelength repetitive pulses or “groans” below human frequency discrimination and longer than our typical time frame, so samples are usually “sped up” to 10 times speed so we can hear them and recognize patterns.
Much of study of the rorqual family looks at the individual animal, but the subspecies have regional-specific behavioral distinctions, suggesting aggregate or community adaptive behaviors.
One regional vocalization of the Minke from the Great Barrier Reef area is the “star wars” call . Another, called the “boing” was only recently associated with the North Atlantic Minkes. The chorusing sample provided here is from the West Indies; played back 10x speed the sound remarkably like crickets.
Antarctic minke whale or southern minke whale (Balaenoptera bonaerensis)
B. acutorostrata are B. davidsoni (Cope 1872), B. minimia (Rapp, 1837) and B. rostrata (Fabricius, 1780)
B. bonaerensis are B. huttoni (Gray 1874).
Discovery of Sound in the Sea
Arkive.org: Common Minke Whale
Arkive.org: Antarctic Minke Whale