Joi Ito reports on a conversation with Dr. Roger Payne, a MacArthur-winning whale researcher who is the president of Ocean Alliance. It turns out that humpback whales riff off each other, remixing one another's songs, and developing trends and fashions in their singing over time.
He explained to me that Humpback Whales sang beautiful songs. They copy from each other, remixing the songs and add to the songs. These songs evolve over time and riffs get passed from whale to whale across the world. The songs have lots of interesting variations and even have rhymes. He made an interesting observation that the whale songs of the 60's were much more beautiful than the whale songs these days.