Echolocation in Marine Mammals

Book Chapter

Title: Echolocation in Marine Mammals
Authors: Au, W.; Hastings, M.
Publication Date:
January 01, 2008
Book Title: Principles of Marine Bioacoustics
Chapter: 11
Pages: 501-564
Publisher: Springer

Document Access

Website: External Link


Au, W.; Hastings, M. (2008). Echolocation in Marine Mammals. Principles of Marine Bioacoustics (pp. 501-564). Springer.

Humans have always been fascinated by marine life, from extremely small diatoms to the largest mammal that inhabits out planet, the blue whale. However, studying marine life in the ocean is an extremely difficult proposition because an ocean environment is not only vast but also opaque to most instruments and can be a hostile environment in which to perform experiments and research. The use of acoustics is one way to effectively study animal life in the ocean. Acoustic energy propagates in water more efficiently than almost any form of energy can be utilized by animals for a variety of purposes and also by scientists interested in studying their behavior and natural history. However, underwater acoustics have traditionally been in the domain of physicists, engineers and mathematicians. Studying the natural history of animals is in the domain of biologists and physiologists. Understanding behavior of animals has traditionally involved physiologists and zoologists. In short, marine bioacoustics will continue to be a diverse disciple involving investigators from a variety of backgrounds, with very different knowledge and skill sets. The inherent inter-disciplinary nature of marine bioacoustics presents a large challenge in writing a single text that would be meaningful to various investigators and students interested in this field. Yet we have embarked on this challenge to produce a volume that would be helpful to not only beginning investigators but to seasoned researchers. Most of the material comes from the vast number of combined research in this field.

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