They were found to be complex social beings with their own culture and dialects, strong family bonds, a sophisticated method of biosonar
, and a cetacean version of ultrasound that allows them to "see" inside the bodies of other animals.
Noise likely distracts them because most of the dolphin activities are depending on sound perception and biosonar
(Van Parijs et al.
I'm being coached in "human echolocation," a variation of the biosonar
that bats, dolphins and whales use to "see" the world by interpreting sound.
Now, Danish researchers show that the biosonar
of toothed whales and bats share surprisingly many similarities - even though they live in very different environments and vary extremely in size.
performance of foraging beaked whales (Mesoplodon densirostris).
We can define echolocation, sometimes called biosonar
, as the production, reception, and analysis of sound waves for the purpose of locating objects.
Dolphins, in particular, have deep and shallow diving capability, great eyesight and a biosonar
system that scientists admire but don't fully understand.
During sonar exercises at the Navy's undersea testing range near Andros Island in the Bahamas, the researchers used a Navy array of underwater microphones to listen for the biosonar
clicks that beaked whales make to search for prey.
Acting as biosonar
receiving antennas, the ears of bats perform a critical function in bringing about these ultrasonic sensing capabilities.
The modern toothed whales from the great sperm whale to the smallest dolphins and porpoises use echolocation, a remarkable biosonar
, to find their way in the oceans and to locate their prey.
This "stylohyal" bone connects to the auditory bulba (shown in yellow) only in bats that use their larynx to generate echolocation, or biosonar
In 2000, University of Hawaii researchers Paul Nachtigall and Whitlow Au published a scientific paper titled, "Dolphin Biosonar
: A model for Biomimetic Sonars." The paper laid out the most detailed description to date of the biological mechanisms that make the echolocation systems of dolphins extraordinarily efficient and powerful.