Category: Bioacoustics

The little things that count (also)

In the early years of the ocean noise discussion there were heated debates about whether or not introduced noise was really harmful to marine life. Our understanding was shallow and the tools blunt. Even when animals washed ashore deafened, dead,…

Bio-inspired communication signals

Of the many papers presented this week at the Institute of Electronic and Electrical Engineers/Marine Technology Society (IEEE/MTS) Ocean conference two really stood out as possible solutions to the impacts of communication signals on marine mammals. These papers discussed using…

Shark Week – Sharks have ears too! (2)

In response to our most recent newsletter on shark hearing, bioacoustics elder and fish hearing expert Art Popper contacted us to provide a more accurate pedigree on the understanding of shark hearing. While there was observed evidence of shark hearing…

What can animals hear?

While catastrophic whale strandings first brought the public’s attention to the ocean noise impacts, a greater noise concern is the impact of the ever increasing “acoustic smog” from human noise sources. This problem is called “masking” – what happens when…

Ice Seal Vocalizations

The vocalizations of “ice seals”, a bearded seal in this case, use complex tones and wide ranges of frequencies.  Yet some of the simpler sounds created by ships passing through their environment may have the effect of masking their communications…

Report from Kansas Acoustics Society meeting

I’ve just returned from a semi-annual Acoustics Society meeting in Kansas City. These events bring together many scientists, researchers, engineers, and academics who are plying the broad arena of acoustics.. The field of acoustics is a potpourri of disciplines that…

Press takes interest in historic ocean noise

This week I delivered a paper on the historic noise levels in the ocean prior to industrialized whaling. It turns out that the ocean was pretty noisy back in 1800, but the noise was all biological − with a preponderance…

New discovery of songful bowheads

It’s always a delight to learn something new about ocean life. Some 40 years ago whale researcher Roger Payne came to understand that Humpback whales sang complex, beautiful, and patterned songs. Their haunting melodies released in an LP as “The…

Singing fish lead to conservation programs

OCR associate and marine biologist Mario Rivera has received coverage in Costa Rica’s “El Financiero” for his work with singing fish. He is using sound-pattern recognition software to identify breeding aggregations of fish – in this case “weakfish” (Cynoscion squamipinnis) to determine…