[MARMAM] Variation in sperm whale IPI [NEW PUBLICATION]

Shane shane_gero at hotmail.com
Wed Aug 1 07:09:21 PDT 2018

Dear All,

We are pleased to announce the publication of a new paper in Journal of the Acoustical Society of America:

Variability of the inter-pulse interval in sperm whale clicks with implications for size estimation and individual identification

By: Anne Bøttcher, Shane Gero, Kristian Beedholm, Hal Whitehead & Peter T. Madsen

The paper is available here: https://asa.scitation.org/doi/10.1121/1.5047657 or PDFs by request from the authors.

Sperm whales generate multi-pulsed clicks for echolocation and communication with an inter-pulse interval (IPI) determined by the size of their hypertrophied sound producing nose. The IPI has therefore been used to estimate body size and distinguish between individuals, and it has been hypothesized that conspecifics may use IPIs to recognize each other. However, the degree to which IPIs vary within individuals has not explicitly been tested, and therefore the inherent precision of this measure and its applicability for size estimation for researchers and sperm whales alike remain unknown. Here, the variability in IPI from both animal-borne Dtags and far-field recordings from echolocating and communicating sperm whales is quantified. Three different automatic methods (envelope, cepstrum, and cross-correlation) are tested and it is found that the envelope approach results in the least dispersion. Furthermore, it is shown that neither growth, depth, nor recording aspect fully explains the observed variability among clicks recorded from the same individual. It is proposed that dynamics in the soft structures of the nose are affecting IPIs, resulting in a variation of approximately 0.2 ms. Therefore, it is recommended that this variation be considered in IPI studies and that IPIs may have limited functionality as an identity cue among large groups of conspecifics.

My very best,

Shane Gero<http://www.shanegero.com/>
Assistant Professor                              Founder | Principal Investigator
Marine Bioacoustics Lab<http://www.marinebioacoustics.wordpress.com/>                     The Dominica Sperm Whale Project<http://www.thespermwhaleproject.org/>
Institute for Bioscience                        Find us on Facebook<https://www.facebook.com/spermwhaleproject>
Aarhus University<http://www.au.dk/en/>                                 Follow @DomWhale<https://twitter.com/DomWhale>

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