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Measuring the off-axis angle and the rotational movements of phonating sperm whales using a single hydrophone

Laplanche, Christophe and Adam, Olivier and Lopatka, Maciej and Motsch, Jean-François Measuring the off-axis angle and the rotational movements of phonating sperm whales using a single hydrophone. (2006) The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America (JASA), Vol. 119 (n°6). pp. 4074-4082. ISSN 0001-4966

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.2184987

Abstract

The common use of the bent-horn model of the sperm whale sound generator describes sperm whale clicks as the pulse series {p0, p1, p2, p3, . . . }. Clicks, however, deviate from this standard when recorded using off-axis hydrophones. The existence of additional pulses within the {p0, p1, p2, p3, . . . } series can be explained still using the bent-horn model. Multiple reflections on the whale’s frontal and distal sacs of the p0 pulse lead to additional sets of pulses detectable using a farfield, off-axis hydrophone. The travel times of some of these additional pulses depend on the whale’s orientation. The authors propose a method to estimate the off-axis angle of sperm whale clicks. They also propose a method to determine the nature of the movement (if it is pitch, yaw, or roll) of phonating sperm whales. The application of both methods requires the measurement of the travel time differences between pulses composing a sperm whale click. They lead, using a simple apparatus consisting of a single hydrophone at an unknown depth, to new measurements of the underwater movements of sperm whales. Using these methods shows that sperm whales would methodically scan seawater while searching for prey, by making periodic pitch and yaw movements in sync with their acoustic activity.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:Thanks to Acoustical Society of America editor. The definitive version is available at http://asadl.org/jasa/resource/1/jasman/v119/i6/p4074_s1?isAuthorized=no
Audience (journal):International peer-reviewed journal
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Institution:Other partners > Université Paris 12 Val de Marne (FRANCE)
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Deposited By: Nadia Kelmouss
Deposited On:14 May 2012 08:13

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