Posted on: July 23, 2013

The vocal repertoire of the Atlantic Bottlenose dolphin is composed of a variety of vocalizations of varying frequencies, including low-frequency whistles, high-frequency clicks, and burst pulsed yells.  Studies have shown that these different vocalizations are associated with different behavioral contexts that play a significant role in individual and group survival (Tyack & Sayigh, 1997).  Currently, dolphin vocalizations are categorized into two primary contexts: (1) the acquisition of information through echolocation clicks and (2) social communication through frequency-modulated whistles and burst pulsed sounds (Tyack, 1998).  Pictured are the spectrograms of each vocalization, which researchers can use to visualize sound.

At Dolphins Plus we have the opportunity to listen to and study the dolphin conversations amongst our population of 12 Atlantic Bottlenose dolphins.  We aim to achieve a better understanding of cetacean communication in the hopes of improving mitigation efforts towards noise pollution and the overall preservation of our marine environment.

Tyack, Peter L., and Laela S. Sayigh. (1997) Vocal Learning in Cetaceans. Social Influences on Vocal Development. By Charles T. Snowdon and Martine Hausberger. New York: Cambridge UP,. 208-33.

Tyack, Peter L. (1998) Acoustic Communication Under the Sea. Animal Acoustic Communication: Sound Analysis and Research Methods. By Steven L. Hopp, Michael J. Owren, and Christopher Stuart. Evans. Berlin: Springer-Verlag.