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J Acoust Soc Am. 2012 Jan;131(1):569-76. doi: 10.1121/1.3662077.

The biosonar field around an Atlantic bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus).

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Marine Mammal Research Program, Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology, PO Box 1106, Kailua, Hawaii 96734, USA.


The use of remote autonomous passive acoustic recorders (PAR) to determine the distribution of dolphins at a given locations has become very popular. Some investigators are using echolocation clicks to gather information on the presence of dolphins and to identify species. However, in all of these cases, the PAR probably recorded mainly off-axis clicks, even some from behind the animals. Yet there is a very poor understanding of the beam pattern and the click waveform and spectrum from different azimuths around the animal's body. The beam pattern completely around an echo locating dolphin was measured at 16 different but equally spaced angles in the horizontal plane using an 8-hydrophone array in sequence. Eight channels of data were digitized simultaneously at a sampling rate of 500 kHz. The resulting beam patterns in both planes showed a continuous drop off in sound pressure with azimuth around the animal and reached levels below -50 dB relative to the signal recorded on the beam axis. The signals began to break up into two components at angles greater than ± 45° in the horizontal plane. The center frequency dropped off from its maximum at 0° in a non-uniform matter.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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