[MARMAM] new publication on harbour porpoise click communication

Pernille Meyer pernille2301 at gmail.com
Tue Jun 26 08:55:47 PDT 2018


Dear MARMAM community,

My co-authors and I are pleased to announce the publication of our new
paper in *Scientific Reports:*

Sørensen, P. M., Wisniewska, D. M., Jensen, F. H., Johnson, M., Teilmann,
J. and Madsen, P. T. (2018). Click Communication in wild harbour
porpoises (*Phocoena
Phocoena*). Scientific Reports. DOI:10.1038/s41598-018-28022-8.

Abstract:

Social delphinids employ a vocal repertoire of clicks for echolocation and
whistles for communication. Conversely, the less social and acoustically
cryptic harbour porpoises (Phocoena phocoena) only produce narrow-band
high-frequency (NBHF) clicks with properties that appear poorly suited for
communication. Nevertheless, these small odontocetes likely mediate social
interactions, such as mate choice and mother-calf contact, with sound.
Here, we deployed six tags (DTAG3) on wild porpoises in Danish waters for a
total of 96 hours to investigate if the patterns and use of stereotyped
NBHF click trains are consistent with a communication function. We show
that wild porpoises produce frequent (up to 27 min−1), high-repetition rate
click series with repetition rates and output levels different from those
of foraging buzzes. These sounds are produced in bouts and frequently
co-occur with emission of similar sounds by nearby conspecifics, audible on
the tags for >10% of the time. These results suggest that social
interactions are more important to this species than their limited social
encounters at the surface may indicate and that these interactions are
mediated by at least two broad categories of calls composed of short,
high-repetition rate click trains that may encode information via the
repetition rate of their stereotyped NBHF clicks.

The paper can be accessed at: www.nature.com/articles/s41598-018-28022-8

All the best and on behalf of all authors,

Pernille M. Sørensen
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