[MARMAM] Paper on click communication in porpoises

tubbert at sol.dk tubbert at sol.dk
Wed Oct 13 01:09:43 PDT 2010


Dear All,

This recent paper sheds light on how harbour porpoises communicate
acoustically using specific patterns of clicks with source properties
comparable to normal echolocation clicks.

Requests for reprints can be directed to tubbert at sol.dk
<mailto:tubbert at sol.dk> 

All the best,

Karin Tubbert Clausen




Karin Tubbert Clausen1*, Magnus Wahlberg2, 3, Kristian Beedholm1, Stacy
DeRuiter4,5 and Peter Teglberg Madsen1,5


1 Zoophysiology, Department of Biological Sciences, Aarhus University,
Build. 1131,

C.F. Moellers Alle, 8000 Aarhus C, Denmark

2 Fjord & Baelt, Margrethes Plads 1, 5300 Kerteminde, Denmark

3 University of Southern Denmark, Hindsholmsvej 11, 5300 Kerteminde,

4 IFREMER, Service Acoustique et Sismique, BP 70, 29280 Plouzan¨¦, France

5 Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, 02543 MA, USA




Sound plays an important role for toothed whales in foraging and
communication. However, little is known about acoustic communication in
the toothed whale species that only produce narrow band high frequency
(NBHF) clicks, such as the harbour porpoise Phocoena phocoena. To study
acoustic behaviour and to quantify the source parameters of porpoise
communication signals, the acoustic and swimming behaviour of three
adults and one calf were recorded using an array of hydrophones,
acoustic tags and an overhead video camera. We tested the hypothesis
that different behavioural interactions between porpoises involve
specific click patterns for communication and measured the source
characteristics of these click patterns to estimate the active space of
porpoise click communication. Our results provide strong evidence that
porpoises communicate acoustically using specific patterns of clicks
with source properties comparable to normal echolocation clicks, and
that they employ stereotyped aggressive click patterns, exposing
conspecifics to received levels of up to 180 dB re 1 ¦ÌPa (pp). The
measured source properties render estimated active spaces of less than
1000 meters for porpoises¡¯ communication sounds. Compared to other
cetaceans, porpoises must therefore remain much closer to be able to
communicate acoustically. 


Keywords: harbour porpoise, Phocoena phocoena, click communication,
mother-calf pair, active space



Karin Tubbert Clausen

Zoophysiology, Department of Biological Sciences

Aarhus University, Build. 1131, CF Mollers Alle

8000 Aarhus C, Denmark


Web: www.marinebioacoustics.com <http://www.marinebioacoustics.com> 



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