Aarhus University Seal / Aarhus Universitets segl

Professor Peter Teglberg Madsen

Echolocation in sympatric Peale's dolphins (Lagenorhynchus australis) and Commerson's dolphins (Cephalorhynchus commersonii) producing narrow-bandhigh-frequency clicks

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  • Department of Arctic Environment
  • Department of Biological Sciences, Zoophysiology
An increasing number of smaller odontocetes have recently been shown to produce stereotyped narrow-band high-frequency (NBHF) echolocation clicks. Click source parameters of NBHF clicks are very similar, and it is unclear whether the sonars of individual NBHF species are adapted to specific habitats or the presence of other NBHF species. Here, we test whether sympatric NBHF species sharing the same habitat show similar adaptations in their echolocation clicks and whether their clicks display signs of character displacement. Wide-band sound recordings were obtained with a six-element hydrophone array from wild Peale's (Lagenorhynchus australis) and Commerson's (Cephalorhynchus commersonii) dolphins off the Falkland Islands. The centroid frequency was different between Commerson's (133±2kHz) and Peale's (129±3kHz) dolphins. The r.m.s. bandwidth was 12±3kHz for both species. The source level was higher for Peale's dolphin (185±6dB re 1 uPa p.-p.) than for Commerson's(177±5 dB re 1 uPa p.-p.). The mean directivity indexes were 25dB for both species. The relatively low source levels in combination with the high directivity index may be an adaptation to reduce clutter when foraging in a coastal environment. We conclude that the small species-specific shifts in distribution of centroid frequencies around 130kHz may reflect character displacement in otherwise-stereotyped NBHF clicks.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Experimental Biology
Pages (from-to)1940-1949
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2010

    Research areas

  • Acoustics, echolocation, dolphin, porpoise, sound production, click source parameters

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