Skip to content

Research at St Andrews

Low-frequency signals produced by Northeast Atlantic killer whales (Orcinus orca)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

DOI

Abstract

Killer whale acoustic behavior has been extensively investigated; however, most studies have focused on pulsed calls and whistles. This study reports the production of low-frequency signals by killer whales at frequencies below 300 Hz. Recordings were made in Iceland and Norway when killer whales were observed feeding on herring and no other marine mammal species were nearby. Low-frequency sounds were identified in Iceland and ranged in duration between 0.14 and 2.77 s and in frequency between 50 and 270 Hz, well below the previously reported lower limit for killer whale tonal sounds of 500 Hz. Low-frequency sounds appeared to be produced close in time to tail slaps, which are indicative of feeding attempts, suggesting that these sounds may be related to a feeding context. However, their precise function is unknown, and they could be the by-product of a non-vocal behavior rather than a vocal signal deliberately produced by the whales. Although killer whales in Norway exhibit similar feeding behavior, this sound has not been detected in recordings from Norway to date. This study suggests that, like other delphinids, killer whales produce low-frequency sounds, but further studies will be required to understand whether similar sounds exist in other killer whale populations. (c) 2016 Acoustical Society of America.

Close

Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1149-1157
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Volume139
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2016

    Research areas

  • HERRING CLUPEA-HARENGUS, BOTTLE-NOSED DOLPHINS, TURSIOPS-TRUNCATUS, BRITISH-COLUMBIA, ACOUSTIC REPERTOIRE, ULTRASONIC WHISTLES, VANCOUVER-ISLAND, HUMPBACK WHALES, BEHAVIOR, SOUNDS

Discover related content
Find related publications, people, projects and more using interactive charts.

View graph of relations

Related by author

  1. Northern bottlenose whales in a pristine environment respond strongly to close and distant navy sonar signals

    Wensveen, P. J., Isojunno, S., Hansen, R. R., Von Benda-beckmann, A. M., Kleivane, L., Van Ijsselmuide, S., Lam, F. A., Kvadsheim, P. H., Deruiter, S. L., Curé, C., Narazaki, T., Tyack, P. L. & Miller, P. J. O., 20 Mar 2019, In : Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 286, 1899, 10 p., 20182592.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  2. Predicting acoustic dose associated with marine mammal behavioural responses to sound as detected with fixed acoustic recorders and satellite tags

    von Benda-Beckmann, A. M., Wensveen, P. J., Prior, M., Ainslie, M. A., Hansen, R. R., Isojunno, S., Lam, F. P. A., Kvadsheim, P. H. & Miller, P. J. O., 20 Mar 2019, In : Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. 145, 3, p. 1401-1416 16 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  3. Future directions in research on beaked whales

    Hooker, S. K., De Soto, N. A., Baird, R. W., Carroll, E. L., Claridge, D., Feyrer, L., Miller, P. J. O., Onoufriou, A., Schorr, G., Siegal, E. & Whitehead, H., 25 Jan 2019, In : Frontiers in Marine Science. 5, 16 p., 514.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  4. Killer whales (Orcinus orca) in Iceland show weak genetic structure among diverse isotopic signatures and observed movement patterns

    Tavares, S. B., Samarra, F. I. P., Pascoal, S., Graves, J. A. & Miller, P. J. O., 14 Nov 2018, In : Ecology and Evolution. Early View, 14 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Related by journal

  1. Predicting acoustic dose associated with marine mammal behavioural responses to sound as detected with fixed acoustic recorders and satellite tags

    von Benda-Beckmann, A. M., Wensveen, P. J., Prior, M., Ainslie, M. A., Hansen, R. R., Isojunno, S., Lam, F. P. A., Kvadsheim, P. H. & Miller, P. J. O., 20 Mar 2019, In : Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. 145, 3, p. 1401-1416 16 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  2. Fin whale density and distribution estimation using acoustic bearings derived from sparse arrays

    Harris, D. V., Miksis-Olds, J. L., Vernon, J. A. & Thomas, L., May 2018, In : Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. 143, 5, p. 2980-2993 14 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  3. Modelling the broadband propagation of marine mammal echolocation clicks for click-based population density estimates

    von Benda-Beckmann, A., Thomas, L. J., Tyack, P. L. & Ainslie, M., Feb 2018, In : Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. 143, 2, p. 954-967

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  4. Two unit analysis of Sri Lankan pygmy blue whale song over a decade

    Miksis-Olds, J. L., Nieukirk, S. L. & Harris, D. V., 31 Dec 2018, In : Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. 144, 6, p. 3618-3626 9 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

ID: 247346155