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Hearing in whales and dolphins: relevance and limitations
Pacini, A.F.; Nachtigall, P.E. (2016). Hearing in whales and dolphins: relevance and limitations, in: Popper, A.N. et al. (Ed.) The effects of noise on aquatic life II. Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology, 875: pp. 801-807.
In: Popper, A.N.; Hawkins, A. (Ed.) (2016). The effects of noise on aquatic life II. Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology, 875. Springer Science+Business Media, Inc: New York. ISBN 978-1-4939-2980-1. xxx, 1292 pp., more
In: Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology. Springer: Berlin. ISSN 0065-2598, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 

    Audition; Cetacea [WoRMS]; Marine
Author keywords
    Cetacean; Auditory evoked potential

Authors  Top 
  • Pacini, A.F.
  • Nachtigall, P.E.

    Understanding the hearing of marine mammals has been a priority to quantify and mitigate the impact of anthropogenic sound on these apex predators. Yet our knowledge of cetacean hearing is still limited to a few dozen species, therefore compromising any attempt to design adaptive management strategies. The use of auditory evoked potentials allows scientists to rapidly and noninvasively obtain the hearing data of species rarely available in captivity. Unfortunately, many practical and ethical reasons still limit the availability of large whales, thus restricting the possibility to effectively ensure that anthropogenic sounds have minimum effects on these species. The example of a recent Blainville’s beaked whale (Mesoplodon densirostris) audiogram collected after a stranding indicated, for instance, very specialized hearing between 40 and 50 kHz, which corresponded to the frequency-modulated upsweep signals used by this species during echolocation. The methods used during a stranding event are presented along with the major difficulties that have slowed down the scientific community in measuring the audition of large whales and the potential value in obtaining such results when successful.

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