Publications

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2008
Soldevilla, MS, Henderson EE, Campbell GS, Wiggins SM, Hildebrand JA, Roch MA.  2008.  Classification of Risso's and Pacific white-sided dolphins using spectral properties of echolocation clicks. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. 124:609-624.: ASA   10.1121/1.2932059   AbstractWebsite

The spectral and temporal properties of echolocation clicks and the use of clicks for species classification are investigated for five species of free-ranging dolphins found offshore of southern California: short-beaked common (Delphinus delphis), long-beaked common (D. capensis), Risso's (Grampus griseus), Pacific white-sided (Lagenorhynchus obliquidens), and bottlenose (Tursiops truncatus) dolphins. Spectral properties are compared among the five species and unique spectral peak and notch patterns are described for two species. The spectral peak mean values from Pacific white-sided dolphin clicks are 22.2, 26.6, 33.7, and 37.3 kHz and from Risso's dolphins are 22.4, 25.5, 30.5, and 38.8 kHz. The spectral notch mean values from Pacific white-sided dolphin clicks are 19.0, 24.5, and 29.7 kHz and from Risso's dolphins are 19.6, 27.7, and 35.9 kHz. Analysis of variance analyses indicate that spectral peaks and notches within the frequency band 24–35 kHz are distinct between the two species and exhibit low variation within each species. Post hoc tests divide Pacific white-sided dolphin recordings into two distinct subsets containing different click types, which are hypothesized to represent the different populations that occur within the region. Bottlenose and common dolphin clicks do not show consistent patterns of spectral peaks or notches within the frequency band examined (1–100 kHz).

2010
Baumann-Pickering, S, Wiggins SM, Roth EH, Roch MA, Schnitzler HU, Hildebrand JA.  2010.  Echolocation signals of a beaked whale at Palmyra Atoll. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. 127:3790-9.   10.1121/1.3409478   AbstractWebsite

Acoustic recordings from Palmyra Atoll, northern Line Islands, central Pacific, showed upsweep frequency modulated pulses reminiscent of those produced by beaked whales. These signals had higher frequencies, broader bandwidths, longer pulse durations and shorter inter-pulse intervals than previously described pulses of Blainville's, Cuvier's and Gervais' beaked whales [Zimmer et al. (2005). J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 117, 3919-3927; Johnson et al. (2006). J. Exp. Biol. 209, 5038-5050; Gillespie et al. (2009). J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 125, 3428-3433]. They were distinctly different temporally and spectrally from the unknown beaked whale at Cross Seamount, HI [McDonald et al. (2009). J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 125, 624-627]. Genetics on beaked whale specimens found at Palmyra Atoll suggest the presence of a poorly known beaked whale species. Mesoplodon sp. might be the source of the FM pulses described in this paper. The Palmyra Atoll FM pulse peak frequency was at 44 kHz with a -10 dB bandwidth of 26 kHz. Mean pulse duration was 355 mus and inter-pulse interval was 225 ms, with a bimodal distribution. Buzz sequences were detected with inter-pulse intervals below 20 ms and unmodulated spectra, with about 20 dB lower amplitude than prior FM pulses. These clicks had a 39 kHz bandwidth (-10 dB), peak frequency at 37 kHz, click duration 155 mus, and inter-click interval between 4 and 10 ms.

2013
Wiggins, SM, Frasier KE, Henderson EE, Hildebrand JA.  2013.  Tracking dolphin whistles using an autonomous acoustic recorder array. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. 133:3813-3818.: ASA   http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.4802645   AbstractWebsite

Dolphins are known to produce nearly omnidirectional whistles that can propagate several kilometers, allowing these sounds to be localized and tracked using acoustic arrays. During the fall of 2007, a km-scale array of four autonomous acoustic recorders was deployed offshore of southern California in a known dolphin habitat at ∼800 m depth. Concurrently with the one-month recording, a fixed-point marine mammal visual survey was conducted from a moored research platform in the center of the array, providing daytime species and behavior visual confirmation. The recordings showed three main types of dolphin acoustic activity during distinct times: primarily whistling during daytime, whistling and clicking during early night, and primarily clicking during late night. Tracks from periods of daytime whistling typically were tightly grouped and traveled at a moderate rate. In one example with visual observations, traveling common dolphins (Delphinus sp.) were tracked for about 10 km with an average speed of ∼2.5 m s−1 (9 km h−1). Early night recordings had whistle localizations with wider spatial distribution and slower travel speed than daytime recordings, presumably associated with foraging behavior. Localization and tracking of dolphins over long periods has the potential to provide insight into their ecology, behavior, and potential response to stimuli.

Baumann-Pickering, S, McDonald MA, Simonis AE, Berga AS, Merkens KPB, Oleson EM, Roch MA, Wiggins SM, Rankin S, Yack TM, Hildebrand JA.  2013.  Species-specific beaked whale echolocation signals. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. 134:2293-2301. AbstractWebsite

Beaked whale echolocation signals are mostly frequency-modulated (FM) upsweep pulses and appear to be species specific. Evolutionary processes of niche separation may have driven differentiation of beaked whale signals used for spatial orientation and foraging. FM pulses of eight species of beaked whales were identified, as well as five distinct pulse types of unknown species, but presumed to be from beaked whales. Current evidence suggests these five distinct but unidentified FM pulse types are also species-specific and are each produced by a separate species. There may be a relationship between adult body length and center frequency with smaller whales producing higher frequency signals. This could be due to anatomical and physiological restraints or it could be an evolutionary adaption for detection of smaller prey for smaller whales with higher resolution using higher frequencies. The disadvantage of higher frequencies is a shorter detection range. Whales echolocating with the highest frequencies, or broadband, likely lower source level signals also use a higher repetition rate, which might compensate for the shorter detection range. Habitat modeling with acoustic detections should give further insights into how niches and prey may have shaped species-specific FM pulse types.