Changes in signal parameters over time for an echolocating Atlantic bottlenose dolphin performing the same target discrimination task

Stuart D. Ibsen, Whitlow W.L. Au, Paul E. Nachtigall, Caroline M. DeLong, Marlee Breese

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study documents the changes in peak frequency, source level, and spectrum shape of echolocation clicks made by the same dolphin performing the same discrimination task in 1998 and in 2003/2004 with spherical solid stainless steel and brass targets. The total average peak frequency used in 1998 was 138 kHz but in 2003/2004 it had shifted down nearly 3.5 octaves to 40 kHz. The total average source level also shifted down from 206 dB in 1998 to 187 kHz in 2003/2004. The standard deviation of these parameter values within time periods was small indicating a consistent difference between time periods. The average parameter values for clicks used when exposed to brass versus steel targets were very similar indicating that target type did not greatly influence the dolphin's average echolocation behavior. The spectrum shapes of the average clicks used in 1998 and in 2003/2004 were nearly mirror images of each other with the peak energy in 2003/2004 being concentrated where the 1998 clicks had the lowest energy content and vice versa. Despite the dramatic differences in click frequency content the dolphin was able to perform the same discrimination task at nearly the same level of success.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2446-2450
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Volume122
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 3 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics

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