Nachtigall Paul E.

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Paul E.

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Now showing 1 - 6 of 6
  • Preprint
    Sonar-induced temporary hearing loss in dolphins
    ( 2009-03-10) Mooney, T. Aran ; Nachtigall, Paul E. ; Vlachos, Stephanie
    There is increasing concern that human-produced ocean noise is adversely affecting marine mammals, as several recent cetacean mass strandings may have been caused by animals’ interactions with naval “mid-frequency” sonar. However, it has yet to be empirically demonstrated how sonar could induce these strandings or cause physiological effects. In controlled experimental studies, we show that mid-frequency sonar can induce temporary hearing loss in a bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus). Mild behavioural alterations were also associated with the exposures. The auditory effects were only induced by repeated exposures to intense sonar pings with total sound exposure levels of 214 dB re: 1 μPa2∙s. Data support an increasing energy model to predict temporary noise-induced hearing loss and indicate that odontocete noise exposure effects bear trends similar to terrestrial mammals. Thus, sonar can induce physiological and behavioural effects in at least one species of odontocete; however, exposures must be of prolonged, high sound exposures levels to generate these effects.
  • Preprint
    Potential for sound sensitivity in cephalopods
    ( 2010-07) Mooney, T. Aran ; Hanlon, Roger T. ; Madsen, Peter T. ; Christensen-Dalsgaard, Jakob ; Ketten, Darlene R. ; Nachtigall, Paul E.
    Hearing is a primary sense in many marine animals and we now have a reasonable understanding of what stimuli generate clear responses, the frequency range of sensitivity, expected threshold values and mecha-nisms of sound detection for several species of marine mammals and fishes (Fay 1988; Au et al. 2000). For marine invertebrates, our knowledge of hearing capabilities is relatively poor and a definition or even certainty of sound detection is not agreed upon (Webster et al. 1992) despite their magnitude of biomass and often central role in ocean ecosystems. Cephalopods (squid, cuttlefish, octopods and nautilus) are particularly interesting subjects for inver-tebrate sound detection investigations for several reasons. Ecologically, they occupy many of the same niches as sound-sensitive fish (Budelmann 1994) and may benefit from sound perception and use for the same reasons, such as to detect predators, navigate, or locate conspecifics. Squid, for example, are often the prey of loud, echolocating marine mammals (Clarke 1996), and may therefore be expected to have evolved hearing to avoid predators. Anatomically, squid have complex statocysts that are considered to serve primarily as vestibular and acceleration detectors (Nixon and Young 2003). However, statocysts may also be analogs for fish otolithic organs, detecting acoustic stimuli (Budelmann 1992). Previous studies have debated the subject of squid hearing and recently there has been a revival of research on the subject. Here, we briefly review what is known about squid sound detection, revisit hearing definitions, discuss potential squid susceptibility to anthropogenic noise and suggest potential future research direc-tions to examine squid acoustic sensitivity.
  • Article
    Transmission beam pattern and dynamics of a spinner dolphin (Stenella longirostris)
    (Acoustical Society of America, 2019-06-19) Smith, Adam B. ; Pacini, Aude F. ; Nachtigall, Paul E. ; Laule, Gail E. ; Aragones, Lemnuel V. ; Magno, Carlo ; Suarez, Leo J. A.
    Toothed whales possess a sophisticated biosonar system by which ultrasonic clicks are projected in a highly directional transmission beam. Beam directivity is an important biosonar characteristic that reduces acoustic clutter and increases the acoustic detection range. This study measured click characteristics and the transmission beam pattern from a small odontocete, the spinner dolphin (Stenella longirostis). A formerly stranded individual was rehabilitated and trained to station underwater in front of a 16-element hydrophone array. On-axis clicks showed a mean duration of 20.1 μs, with mean peak and centroid frequencies of 58 and 64 kHz [standard deviation (s.d.) ±30 and ±12 kHz], respectively. Clicks were projected in an oval, vertically compressed beam, with mean vertical and horizontal beamwidths of 14.5° (s.d. ± 3.9) and 16.3° (s.d. ± 4.6), respectively. Directivity indices ranged from 14.9 to 27.4 dB, with a mean of 21.7 dB, although this likely represents a broader beam than what is normally produced by wild individuals. A click subset with characteristics more similar to those described for wild individuals exhibited a mean directivity index of 23.3 dB. Although one of the broadest transmission beams described for a dolphin, it is similar to other small bodied odontocetes.
  • Article
    Predicting temporary threshold shifts in a bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) : the effects of noise level and duration
    (Acoustical Society of America, 2009-03) Mooney, T. Aran ; Nachtigall, Paul E.
    Noise levels in the ocean are increasing and are expected to affect marine mammals. To examine the auditory effects of noise on odontocetes, a bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) was exposed to octave-band noise (4–8 kHz) of varying durations (<2–30 min) and sound pressures (130–178 dB re 1 µPa). Temporary threshold shift (TTS) occurrence was quantified in an effort to (i) determine the sound exposure levels (SELs) (dB re 1 µPa2 s) that induce TTS and (ii) develop a model to predict TTS onset. Hearing thresholds were measured using auditory evoked potentials. If SEL was kept constant, significant shifts were induced by longer duration exposures but not for shorter exposures. Higher SELs were required to induce shifts in shorter duration exposures. The results did not support an equal-energy model to predict TTS onset. Rather, a logarithmic algorithm, which increased in sound energy as exposure duration decreased, was a better predictor of TTS. Recovery to baseline hearing thresholds was also logarithmic (approximately −1.8 dB/doubling of time) but indicated variability including faster recovery rates after greater shifts and longer recoveries necessary after longer duration exposures. The data reflected the complexity of TTS in mammals that should be taken into account when predicting odontocete TTS.
  • Preprint
    Auditory temporal resolution of a wild white-beaked dolphin (Lagenorhynchus albirostris)
    ( 2009-01-08) Mooney, T. Aran ; Nachtigall, Paul E. ; Taylor, Kristen A. ; Rasmussen, Marianne H. ; Miller, Lee A.
    Adequate temporal resolution is required across taxa to properly utilize amplitude modulated acoustic signals. Among mammals, odontocete marine mammals are considered to have relatively high temporal resolution, which is a selective advantage when processing fast traveling underwater sound. However, multiple methods used to estimate auditory temporal resolution have left comparisons among odontocetes and other mammals somewhat vague. Here we present the estimated auditory temporal resolution of an adult male white-beaked dolphin, (Lagenorhynchus albirostris), using auditory evoked potentials and click stimuli. Ours is the first of such studies performed on a wild dolphin in a capture-and-release scenario. The white-beaked dolphin followed rhythmic clicks up to a rate of approximately 1125-1250 Hz, after which the modulation rate transfer function (MRTF) cut-off steeply. However, 10% of the maximum response was still found at 1450 Hz indicating high temporal resolution. The MRTF was similar in shape and bandwidth to that of other odontocetes. The estimated maximal temporal resolution of white-beaked dolphins and other odontocetes was approximately twice that of pinnipeds and manatees, and more than ten-times faster than humans and gerbils. The exceptionally high temporal resolution abilities of odontocetes are likely due primarily to echolocation capabilities that require rapid processing of acoustic cues.
  • Article
    False killer whale (Pseudorca crassidens) echolocation and acoustic disruption : implications for longline bycatch and depredation
    (NRC Research Press, 2009-07-31) Mooney, T. Aran ; Pacini, Aude F. ; Nachtigall, Paul E.
    False killer whales (Pseudorca crassidens (Owen, 1846)) depredate fish caught by the North Pacific pelagic longline fishery, resulting in loss of target species catch and the whales themselves becoming bycaught. This incidental take of false killer whales exceeds sustainable levels. In an effort to address a potential solution to reducing this depredation and bycatch, we tested an acoustic device designed to deter false killer whales from approaching longlines by reducing the whales’ echolocation performance capabilities. The device produced a series of complex, broadband signals (1–250 kHz) at high intensity levels (up to 182 dB). In the experiment, a trained false killer whale was asked to detect a target in the presence or absence of the acoustic device. Baseline performance capabilities were 95% correct responses. Initially, the device reduced the whale’s echolocation performance to chance levels. However, subsequent sessions demonstrated improvement in echolocation performance up to 85%. This improvement was likely a result of behaviorally adapting to the task and a decrease in the source level of the echolocation “disruptor”. The results underscore the challenges in using acoustic devices to reduce depredation and bycatch, and demonstrate the need for concern regarding anthropogenic noise levels and effects on odontocete echolocation capabilities.