Department of Biology

Aarhus University Seal / Aarhus Universitets segl

Professor Peter Teglberg Madsen

Recording and quantification of ultrasonic echolocation clicks from free-ranging toothed whales

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  • Department of Biological Sciences, Zoophysiology

Toothed whales produce short, ultrasonic clicks of high directionality and source level to probe their environment acoustically. This process, termed echolocation, is to a large part governed by the properties of the emitted clicks. Therefore derivation of click source parameters from free-ranging animals is of increasing importance to understand both how toothed whales use echolocation in the wild and how they may be monitored acoustically. This paper addresses how source parameters can be derived from free-ranging toothed whales in the wild using calibrated multi-hydrophone arrays and digital recorders. We outline the properties required of hydrophones, amplifiers and analog to digital converters, and discuss the problems of recording echolocation clicks on the axis of a directional sound beam. For accurate localization the hydrophone array apertures must be adapted and scaled to the behavior of, and the range to, the clicking animal, and precise information on hydrophone locations is critical. We provide examples of localization routines and outline sources of error that lead to uncertainties in localizing clicking animals in time and space. Furthermore we explore approaches to time series analysis of discrete versions of toothed whale clicks that are meaningful in a biosonar context.

Original languageEnglish
JournalDeep-Sea Research, Part I
Pages (from-to)1421-1444
Publication statusPublished - 2007

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