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Caller sex and orientation influence spectra of “two-voice” stereotyped calls produced by free-ranging killer whales (Orcinus orca).

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Author(s)

Patrick Miller, Filipa Isabel Pereira Samarra, A. Perthuison

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Abstract

This study investigates how particular received spectral characteristics of stereotyped calls of sexually dimorphic adult killer whales may be influenced by caller sex, orientation, and range. Calls were ascribed to individuals during natural behavior using a towed beamforming array. The fundamental frequency of both high-frequency and low-frequency components did not differ consistently by sex. The ratio of peak. energy within the fundamental of the high-frequency component relative to summed peak energy in the first two low-frequency component harmonics, and the number of modulation bands off the high-frequency component, were significantly greater when whales were oriented towards the array, while range and adult sex had little effect. In contrast, the ratio of peak energy in the first versus second harmonics of the low-frequency component was greater in calls produced by adult females than adult males, while orientation and range had little effect. The dispersion of energy across harmonics has been shown to relate to body size or sex in terrestrial species, but pressure effects during diving are thought to make such a signal unreliable in diving animals. The observed spectral differences by signaler sex and orientation suguest that these types of information may be transmitted acoustically by freely diving killer whales. (c) 2007 Acoustical Society of America.

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Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3932-3937
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Volume121
Issue number121
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2007

    Research areas

  • ORCINUS-ORCA, SOUND PRODUCTION, BODY-SIZE, COMPLEX, DIRECTIONALITY, AFFILIATION, INFORMATION, MORPHOLOGY, MOVEMENT, IDENTITY

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