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New articles in Acta Ethologica

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Subject: New articles in Acta Ethologica
From: "Sonja Amoser" <>
Date: Mon, 17 Sep 2007 09:49:00 +0200
Malene Simon, Peter K. McGregor and Fernando Ugarte (2007): The
relationship between the acoustic behaviour and surface activity of
killer whales ( Orcinus orca ) that feed on herring ( Clupea harengus ).
Acta Ethol 10(2), 47-53.

Abstract: We describe the acoustic behaviour of piscivorous killer
whales in Norwegian and Icelandic waters. Whales were assigned to one of
three activities (feeding, travelling or other), and sound recordings
were made in their proximity with a single hydrophone and a digital
audiotape (DAT) recorder. A quantitative analysis of the production of
pulsed calls, whistles and echolocation clicks in the three activities
revealed that there was a significant effect of activity on the
production of these sound types. Both killer whales in Icelandic and
Norwegian waters produced high rates of clicks and calls during feeding
and low rates of click, calls and whistles during travelling. The
differences can be used as acoustical markers and provides new
possibilities for acoustic monitoring of killer whales in these areas.
Based on the similarity between their prey choice, hunting strategies,
phenotype and acoustic behaviour, we suggest that the killer whales in
Icelandic and Norwegian waters belong to the same ecotype: Scandinavian
herring-eating killer whales.

For reprints please contact Malene Simon (Email: 

Kind regards


University of Vienna, Dept. of Behavioural Biology
Sonja Amoser

Althanstrasse 14
1090 Vienna
tel: +43 (1) 4277 54467
fax: +43 (1) 4277 54506
mobile: +43 (664) 500 61 06

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