[MARMAM] New publication on repeated call types in melon-headed whales

Maxwell Kaplan mbkaplan at mit.edu
Wed Sep 3 09:48:26 PDT 2014

Dear colleagues,

We are pleased to announce our new publication:

Kaplan, M.B., Mooney, T.A., Sayigh, L.S., and Baird, R.W. 2014. Repeated 
call types in Hawaiian melon-headed whales (/Peponocephala electra/). J. 
Acoust. Soc. Am. 136(3): 1394-1401.


Melon-headed whales are pantropical odontocetes that are often found 
near oceanic islands. While considered sound-sensitive, their 
bioacoustic characteristics are relatively poorly studied. The goal of 
this study was to characterize the vocal repertoire of melon-headed 
whales to determine whether they produce repeated calls that could 
assist in recognition of conspecifics. The first tag-based acoustic 
recordings of three melon-headed whales were analyzed. Tag records were 
visually and aurally inspected and all calls were individually 
extracted. Non-overlapping calls with sufficient signal-to-noise were 
then parameterized and visually grouped into categories of repeated call 
types. Thirty-six call categories emerged. Categories differed 
significantly in duration, peak and centroid frequency, and -3 dB 
bandwidth. Calls of a given type were more likely to follow each other 
than expected. These data suggest that repeated calls may function in 
individual, subgroup, or group recognition. Repeated call production 
could also serve to enhance signal detection in large groups with many 
individuals producing simultaneous calls. Results suggest that caution 
should be used in developing automatic classification algorithms for 
this species based on small sample sizes, as they may be dominated by 
repeated calls from a few individuals, and thus not representative of 
species- or population-specific acoustic parameters.

You can access the paper here: 
http://scitation.aip.org/content/asa/journal/jasa/136/3/10.1121/1.4892759 or 
email me for a copy.


Maxwell Kaplan
Biology Department
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
266 Woods Hole Rd, MS50, Woods Hole MA, 02543
office: + 1 508 289 3352
email: mkaplan at whoi.edu   web: maxwellkaplan.com

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