Singing whales generate high levels of particle motion : implications for acoustic communication and hearing?
MetadataShow full item record
Acoustic signals are fundamental to animal communication and cetaceans are often considered bioacoustic specialists. Nearly all studies of their acoustic communication focus on sound pressure measurements, overlooking the particle motion components of their communication signals. Here we characterize the levels of acoustic particle velocity (and pressure) of song produced by humpback whales. We demonstrate that whales generate acoustic fields that include significant particle velocity components that are detectable over relatively long distances sufficient to play a role in acoustic communication. We show that these signals attenuate predictably in a manner similar to pressure and that direct particle velocity measurements can provide bearings to singing whales. Whales could potentially use such information to determine the distance of signaling animals. Additionally, the vibratory nature of particle velocity may stimulate bone conduction, a hearing modality similar to other low-frequency specialized mammals, offering a parsimonious mechanism of acoustic energy transduction into the massive ossicles of whale ears. With substantial concerns regarding the effects of increasing anthropogenic ocean noise and major uncertainties surrounding mysticete hearing, these results highlight both an unexplored avenue that may be available for whale acoustic communication and the need to better understand the biological role of acoustic particle motion.
Author Posting. © The Author(s), 2016. This is the author's version of the work. It is posted here by permission of The Royal Society for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Biology Letters 12 (2016): 20160381, doi:10.1098/rsbl.2016.0381.
Suggested CitationPreprint: Mooney, T. Aran, Kaplan, Maxwell B., Lammers, Marc O., "Singing whales generate high levels of particle motion : implications for acoustic communication and hearing?", 2016-10, https://doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2016.0381, https://hdl.handle.net/1912/8652
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
Preisig, James C.; Deane, Grant B. (Acoustical Society of America, 2004-10)The forward scattering of acoustic signals off of shoaling surface gravity waves in the surf zone results in a time-varying channel impulse response that is characterized by intense, rapidly fluctuating arrivals. In some ...
Estimated communication range and energetic cost of bottlenose dolphin whistles in a tropical habitat Jensen, Frants H.; Beedholm, Kristian; Wahlberg, Magnus; Bejder, Lars; Madsen, Peter T. (Acoustical Society of America, 2012-01)Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops sp.) depend on frequency-modulated whistles for many aspects of their social behavior, including group cohesion and recognition of familiar individuals. Vocalization amplitude and frequency ...
Morozov, Andrey K.; Preisig, James C.; Papp, Joseph C. (Acoustical Society of America, 2008-09)Acoustical array data from the Shallow Water Acoustics experiment was processed to show the feasibility of broadband mode decomposition as a preprocessing method to reduce the effective channel delay spread and concentrate ...