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- Using accelerometers to determine the calling behavior of tagged baleen whales
- Low-frequency acoustic signals generated by baleen whales can propgate over vast distances, making the assignment of calls to specific individuals problematic. Here, we report the novel use of acoustic recording tags equipped with high-resolution accelerometers to detect vibrations from the surface of two tagged fin whales that directly match the timing of recorded acoustic signals. A tag deployed on a buoy in the vicinity of calling fin whales and a recording from a tag that had just fallen off a whale were able to detect calls acoustically but did not record corresponding accelerometer signals that were measured on calling individuals. Across the hundreds of calls measured on two tagged fin whales, the accelerometers response was generally anisotropic across all three axes, appeared to depend on tag placement and increased with the level of received sound. These data demonstrate that high-sample rate accelerometry can provide important insights into the acoustic behavior of baleen whales that communicate at low frequencies. This method helps identify vocalizing whales, which in turn enables the quantification of call rates, a fundamental component of models used to estimate baleen whale abundance and distribution from passive acoustic monitoring.
- Goldbogen, Stimpert, DeRuiter, Calambokidis, Friedlaender, Schorr, Moretti, Tyack, Southall
- Discrimination of fast click-series produced by tagged Risso's dolphins (Grampus griseus) for echolocation or communication
- Early studies that categorized odontocete pulsed sounds had few means of discriminating signals used for biosonar-based foraging from those used forcommunication. This capability to identify the function of sounds is important for understanding and interpreting behavior; it is also essential for monitoring and mitigating potential disturbance from human activities. Archival tags were placed on free-ranging Grampus griseus to quantify and discriminate between pulsed sounds used for echolocation-based foraging and those used for communication. Two types of rapid click-series pulsed sounds, buzzes and burst pulses, were identified as produced by the tagged dolphins and classified using a Gaussian mixture model based on their duration, association with jerk (i.e. rapid change of acceleration) and temporal association with click trains. Buzzes followed regular echolocation clicks and coincided with a strong jerk signal from accelerometers on the tag. They consisted of series averaging 359±210 clicks (mean±s.d.) with an increasing repetition rate and relatively low amplitude. Burst pulses consisted of relatively short click series averaging 45±54 clicks with decreasing repetition rate and longer inter-click interval that were less likely to be associated with regular echolocation and the jerk signal. These results suggest that the longer, relatively lower amplitude, jerkassociated buzzes are used in this species to capture prey, mostly during the bottom phase of foraging dives, as seen in other odontocetes. In contrast, the shorter, isolated burst pulses that are generally emitted by the dolphins while at or near the surface are used outside of a direct, known foraging context. © 2016. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd., Article
- Arranz, DeRuiter, Stimpert, Neves, Friedlaender, Goldbogen, Visser, Calambokidis, Southall, Tyack