Also found in: Dictionary, Medical, Wikipedia.


The study of the relation between living organisms and sound.



the area of biology dealing with the voices and sound communication of animals. Bioacoustics is closely related to animal ecology and ethology, to the morphology and physiology of the organs which produce and receive sound signals, and to acoustics. The science of bioacoustics received official recognition in 1956 at the First International Bioacoustics Congress (USA). Work in bioacoustics touches on such general biological questions as formation, speciation, double species, and the direction and factors of evolution.

In the process of evolution, the complexity and reliability of sound communication increases among animals and a transition occurs from the “mechanical” voice (produced by the rubbing of various parts of the body) to the use of stream of air in the respiratory tract (“authentic” voice). Mechanical voice is characteristic of spiders, myriopods, lobsters and crabs, and insects (the vibrating membranes of the cicada, the vibration of beetles’ wings, and so on). The ability to reproduce sounds has been established in more than 1,000 species of fish (from 42 families); they emit sounds by means of their swim bladders, scales, mandibles, and so on. Terrestrial vertebrates use the respiratory system and vocal cords for the production of sounds. Sound communication is particularly developed in birds, and to a somewhat lesser degree in mammals and amphibians. Sound seems to play a small role in the life of reptiles (crocodiles and geckos have voices). The development of the sound-receiving system parallels the development of the voice in the course of evolution. However, there is no absolute correlation between them, since hearing makes contact possible between different groups of animals—often very distant from each other taxonomically—in addition to intraspecific communication.

Bioacoustics also has great practical importance. The behavior of animals is controlled with the help of artificially reproduced sounds (signals) if the outright destruction of harmful animals is not desirable (for example, in order to scare birds away from airports, where their presence threatens to cause aviation accidents). In the field of bionics, the echolocation systems of owls, bats, and dolphins hold great interest owing to their great powers of resolution, their high reliability, and their relatively small dimensions. A type of bioacoustics, biohydroacoustics, is devoted to the development of new methods of fishing and to navigation.


References in periodicals archive ?
The Palaszczuk Government will deploy cutting-edge bioacoustic recognition and drones in a hi-tech effort to find and protect koalas in South East Queensland.
The field of bioacoustics has changed dramatically in the last half-century, and so have the sound profiles of the world's oceans: They've gotten much, much louder.
It collects a broad spectrum of data on whales and ocean life relating particularly to toxicology, behavior, bioacoustics, and genetics.
Advances in bioacoustics can greatly facilitate our ability to track enigmatic species such as marine mammals, but it could also provide a simple means to detect human encroachment on protected areas.
Such recordings are used in natural history programmes for television and radio, for scientific research in fields such as bioacoustics and ecology, and by wildlife enthusiasts.
Bioacoustics is the study of the acoustic characteristics and biological significance of sounds emitted by living organisms (Tefera, 2012).
Interactions between beluga whales (Delphinapterus leucas) and boats in Lower Knik Arm, Alaska: behavior and bioacoustics.
Challenges of using bioacoustics to globally monitor bats.
A native New Yorker, Melissa worked for years in the Bioacoustics Research Program at Cornell's Lab of Ornithology, focusing on elephant communication.
Bioacoustics uses automated audio recorders and analysis software, where the technology is "trained" to automatically recognise the calls of individual species.
Bioacoustics provides non-invasive and economic techniques to classify and analyze sound signals, permitting to address the complexity and diversity of the biological communities [6]