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Bioacoustics Articles-Marine Mammal Science

Subject: Bioacoustics Articles-Marine Mammal Science
From: Jason Gedamke <>
Date: Mon, 27 Dec 2010 10:17:47 -0500

 Marine Mammal Science

Volume 27, Issue 1 Page 1 - 253 <>

Behavioral response of manatees to variations in environmental sound levels (pages 130–148)
Jennifer L. Miksis-Olds and Tyler Wagner


Florida manatees (/Trichechus manatus latirostris/) inhabit coastal regions because they feed on the aquatic vegetation that grows in shallow waters, which are the same areas where human activities are greatest. Noise produced from anthropogenic and natural sources has the potential to affect these animals by eliciting responses ranging from mild behavioral changes to extreme aversion. Sound levels were calculated from recordings made throughout behavioral observation periods. An information theoretic approach was used to investigate the relationship between behavior patterns and sound level. Results indicated that elevated sound levels affect manatee activity and are a function of behavioral state. The proportion of time manatees spent feeding and milling changed in response to sound level. When ambient sound levels were highest, more time was spent in the directed, goal-oriented behavior of feeding, whereas less time was spent engaged in undirected behavior such as milling. This work illustrates how shifts in activity of individual manatees may be useful parameters for identifying impacts of noise on manatees and might inform population level effects.

Individual vocal production in a sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus) social unit (pages 149–166)
Tyler M. Schulz, Hal Whitehead, Shane Gero and Luke Rendell


The vocal repertoires of group-living animals may communicate individual or group identity. Female and juvenile sperm whales live in long-term social units that can be assigned to vocal clans based on the pattern of clicks in coda vocalizations. An unusual set of circumstances allowed us to record the vocalizations of photo-identified individuals within a single social unit over a 41 d period. Using click interpulse intervals, we were able to assign codas to individuals and investigate coda production at the individual level within a social unit for the first time. Adult females in the unit vocalized at approximately equal rates. A calf and juvenile, both male, vocalized less often than the adult females. Repertoires were indistinguishable for all unit members apart from a mother and her calf, which possessed significantly different repertoires—even from one another. We suggest that similarity among the coda repertoires of most unit members indicates a function in advertising unit identity. In contrast, the distinctive repertoires of the calf and its mother may facilitate reunions between these whales. We hypothesize that sperm whales may be able to vary their vocal repertoires as their reproductive status alters the trade-off between the benefits of individual and group identification.

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