Thursday, May 20, 2010

Day 21 - What does a whale sound like?

Dolphins and whales produce many different kinds of sounds related to different situations. Listening to an animal, one can guess which behavior it is doing; "clicks" are used for navigation, "bursts" to focus the acoustic energy on an object, "whistles" to communicate and "nacchere" are thought to be associated with feeding behavior.

Using headphones connected to the acoustic instrumentations, trained listeners hear the ocean’s sounds, both natural and man-made. The frequency and intensity of the mammal vocalizations can be very different between species, allowing a listener to distinguish which particular species is making the noise. However, some species, like common dolphins and striped dolphins, produce similar kinds of sounds with similar features which are difficult to distinguish.

Click on the link below (from one of our collaborators) to listen to the sounds of whales and dolphins. A connectivity issue prevents the sounds from being uploaded here.

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