Hurst Thomas P.

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Thomas P.

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Now showing 1 - 6 of 6
  • Article
    Common humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) sound types for passive acoustic monitoring
    (Acoustical Society of America, 2011-01) Stimpert, Alison K. ; Au, Whitlow W. L. ; Parks, Susan E. ; Hurst, Thomas P.
    Humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) are one of several baleen whale species in the Northwest Atlantic that coexist with vessel traffic and anthropogenic noise. Passive acoustic monitoring strategies can be used in conservation management, but the first step toward understanding the acoustic behavior of a species is a good description of its acoustic repertoire. Digital acoustic tags (DTAGs) were placed on humpback whales in the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary to record and describe the non-song sounds being produced in conjunction with foraging activities. Peak frequencies of sounds were generally less than 1 kHz, but ranged as high as 6 kHz, and sounds were generally less than 1 s in duration. Cluster analysis distilled the dataset into eight groups of sounds with similar acoustic properties. The two most stereotyped and distinctive types (“wops” and “grunts”) were also identified aurally as candidates for use in passive acoustic monitoring. This identification of two of the most common sound types will be useful for moving forward conservation efforts on this Northwest Atlantic feeding ground.
  • Article
    Low complexity lossless compression of underwater sound recordings
    (Acoustical Society of America, 2013-03) Johnson, Mark P. ; Partan, James W. ; Hurst, Thomas P.
    Autonomous listening devices are increasingly used to study vocal aquatic animals, and there is a constant need to record longer or with greater bandwidth, requiring efficient use of memory and battery power. Real-time compression of sound has the potential to extend recording durations and bandwidths at the expense of increased processing operations and therefore power consumption. Whereas lossy methods such as MP3 introduce undesirable artifacts, lossless compression algorithms (e.g., flac) guarantee exact data recovery. But these algorithms are relatively complex due to the wide variety of signals they are designed to compress. A simpler lossless algorithm is shown here to provide compression factors of three or more for underwater sound recordings over a range of noise environments. The compressor was evaluated using samples from drifting and animal-borne sound recorders with sampling rates of 16–240 kHz. It achieves >87% of the compression of more-complex methods but requires about 1/10 of the processing operations resulting in less than 1 mW power consumption at a sampling rate of 192 kHz on a low-power microprocessor. The potential to triple recording duration with a minor increase in power consumption and no loss in sound quality may be especially valuable for battery-limited tags and robotic vehicles.
  • Article
    Real-time reporting of baleen whale passive acoustic detections from ocean gliders
    (Acoustical Society of America, 2013-08) Baumgartner, Mark F. ; Fratantoni, David M. ; Hurst, Thomas P. ; Brown, Moira W. ; Cole, Timothy V. N. ; Van Parijs, Sofie M. ; Johnson, Mark P.
    In the past decade, much progress has been made in real-time passive acoustic monitoring of marine mammal occurrence and distribution from autonomous platforms (e.g., gliders, floats, buoys), but current systems focus primarily on a single call type produced by a single species, often from a single location. A hardware and software system was developed to detect, classify, and report 14 call types produced by 4 species of baleen whales in real time from ocean gliders. During a 3-week deployment in the central Gulf of Maine in late November and early December 2012, two gliders reported over 25 000 acoustic detections attributed to fin, humpback, sei, and right whales. The overall false detection rate for individual calls was 14%, and for right, humpback, and fin whales, false predictions of occurrence during 15-min reporting periods were 5% or less. Transmitted pitch tracks—compact representations of sounds—allowed unambiguous identification of both humpback and fin whale song. Of the ten cases when whales were sighted during aerial or shipboard surveys and a glider was within 20 km of the sighting location, nine were accompanied by real-time acoustic detections of the same species by the glider within ±12 h of the sighting time.
  • Preprint
    Bottlenose dolphins modify behavior to reduce metabolic effect of tag attachment
    ( 2014-10) van der Hoop, Julie ; Fahlman, Andreas ; Hurst, Thomas P. ; Rocho-Levine, Julie ; Shorter, K. Alex ; Petrov, Victor ; Moore, Michael J.
    Attaching bio-telemetry or -logging devices (‘tags’) to marine animals for research and monitoring adds drag to streamlined bodies, thus affecting posture, swimming gaits and energy balance. These costs have never been measured in free-swimming cetaceans. To examine the effect of drag from a tag on metabolic rate, cost of transport and swimming behavior, four captive male dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) were trained to swim a set course, either non-tagged (n=7) or fitted with a tag (DTAG2; n=12), and surface exclusively in a flow-through respirometer in which oxygen consumption (Graphic) and carbon dioxide production (Graphic; ml kg−1 min−1) rates were measured and respiratory exchange ratio (Graphic/Graphic) was calculated. Tags did not significantly affect individual mass-specific oxygen consumption, physical activity ratios (exercise Graphic/resting Graphic), total or net cost of transport (COT; J m−1 kg−1) or locomotor costs during swimming or two-minute recovery phases. However, individuals swam significantly slower when tagged (by ~11%; mean ± s.d., 3.31±0.35 m s−1) than when non-tagged (3.73±0.41 m s−1). A combined theoretical and computational fluid dynamics model estimating drag forces and power exertion during swimming suggests that drag loading and energy consumption are reduced at lower swimming speeds. Bottlenose dolphins in the specific swimming task in this experiment slowed to the point where the tag yielded no increases in drag or power, while showing no difference in metabolic parameters when instrumented with a DTAG2. These results, and our observations, suggest that animals modify their behavior to maintain metabolic output and energy expenditure when faced with tag-induced drag.
  • Article
    ITAG : an eco-sensor for fine-scale behavioral measurements of soft-bodied marine invertebrates
    (BioMed Central, 2015-09-28) Mooney, T. Aran ; Katija, Kakani ; Shorter, K. Alex ; Hurst, Thomas P. ; Fontes, Jorge ; Afonso, Pedro
    Soft-bodied marine invertebrates comprise a keystone component of ocean ecosystems; however, we know little of their behaviors and physiological responses within their natural habitat. Quantifying ocean conditions and measuring organismal responses to the physical environment is vital to understanding the species or ecosystem-level influences of a changing ocean. Here we describe a novel, soft-bodied invertebrate eco-sensor tag (the ITAG), its trial attachments to squid and jellyfish, and the fine-scale behavioral measurements recorded on captive animals. Tags were deployed on five jellyfish (Aurelia aurita) and eight squid (Loligo forbesi) in laboratory conditions for up to 24 h. Using concurrent video and tag data, movement signatures for specific behaviors were identified. These behaviors included straight swimming (for jellyfish), and finning, jetting, direction reversal and turning (for squid). Overall activity levels were quantified using the root-mean-squared magnitude of acceleration, and finning was found to be the dominant squid swimming gait during captive squid experiments. External light sensors on the ITAG were used to compare squid swimming activity relative to ambient light across a ca. 20-h trial. The deployments revealed that while swimming was continuous for captive squid, energetically costly swimming behaviors (i.e., jetting and rapid direction reversals) occurred infrequently. These data reflect the usefulness of the ITAG to study trade-offs between behavior and energy expenditure in captive and wild animals. These data demonstrate that eco-sensors with sufficiently high sampling rates can be applied to quantify behavior of soft-bodied taxa and changes in behavior due to interactions with the surrounding environment. The methods and tool described here open the door for substantial lab and field-based measurements of fine-scale behavior, physiology, and concurrent environmental parameters that will inform fisheries management, and elucidate the ecology of these important keystone taxa.
  • Article
    Diel changes in humpback whale Megaptera novaeangliae feeding behavior in response to sand lance Ammodytes spp. behavior and distribution
    (Inter-Research, 2009-12-03) Friedlaender, Ari S. ; Hazen, Elliott L. ; Nowacek, Douglas P. ; Halpin, Patrick N. ; Ware, Colin ; Weinrich, Mason T. ; Hurst, Thomas P. ; Wiley, David N.
    Humpback whales Megaptera novaeangliae have adopted unique feeding strategies to take advantage of behavioral changes in their prey. However, logistical constraints have largely limited ecological analyses of these interactions. Our objectives were to (1) link humpback whale feeding behaviors to concurrent measurements of prey using scientific echo-sounders, and (2) quantify how sand lance behavior influences the feeding behaviors and foraging ecology of humpback whales. To measure, in fine detail, the 3-dimensional orientation and movement patterns of humpback whales underwater, we used a multi-sensor tag attached via suction cups (DTAG). We tested the specific hypothesis that the diel movement patterns of sand lance between bottom substrate and the water column correlates to changes between surface and bottom feeding strategies of humpback whales on Stellwagen Bank, MA. We collected over 96 h of both day- and nighttime data from 15 whales in 2006, and recorded 393 surface and 230 bottom feeding events. Individual whales exhibit both surface and bottom feeding behaviors, switching from one to the other in relation to changing light and prey conditions. Surface feeding behaviors were individually variable in their constitution but ubiquitously biased towards daylight hours, when prey was most abundant in the upper portion of the water column. Bottom feeding behavior occurred largely at night, coincident with when sand lance descend to seek refuge in the substrate. Our data provide novel insights into the behavioral ecology of humpback whales and their prey, indicating significant diel patterns in foraging behaviors concurrent with changes in prey behavior.