The three-dimensional beam pattern of a sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus) tagged in the Ligurian Sea was derived using data on regular clicks from the tag and from hydrophones towed behind a ship circling the tagged whale. The tag defined the orientation of the whale, while sightings and beamformer data were used to locate the whale with respect to the ship. The existence of a narrow, forward-directed P1 beam with source levels exceeding 210 dBpeakre: 1 μPa at 1 m is confirmed. A modeled forward-beam pattern, that matches clicks >20° off-axis, predicts a directivity index of 26.7 dB and source levels of up to 229 dBpeakre: 1 μPa at 1 m. A broader backward-directed beam is produced by the P0 pulse with source levels near 200 dBpeakre: 1 μPa at 1 m and a directivity index of 7.4 dB. A low-frequency component with source levels near 190 dBpeakre: 1 μPa at 1 m is generated at the onset of the P0 pulse by air resonance. The results support the bent-horn model of sound production in sperm whales. While the sperm whale nose appears primarily adapted to produce an intense forward-directed sonar signal, less-directional click components convey information to conspecifics, and give rise to echoes from the seafloor and the surface, which may be useful for orientation during dives.

1.
Abraham, D. A. (2000). “Passive Acoustic Detection of Marine Mammals,” SM-351 (SACLANT Undersea Research Centre, La Spezia, Italy).
2.
Au, W. W. L. (1993). The Sonar of Dolphins (Springer, New York).
3.
Backus, R. H., and Schevill, W. E. (1966). “Physeter Clicks,” in Whales, Dolphins and Porpoises, edited by K. S. Norris, (University of California Press, Berkeley), pp. 510–527.
4.
Fristrup
,
K. M.
, and
Harbison
,
G. R.
(
2002
). “
How do sperm whales catch squids?
Marine Mammal Sci.
18
,
42
54
.
5.
Gordon, J. C. D. (1987). “Sperm whale groups and social behaviour observed off Sri Lanka,” Ph.D. thesis (University of Cambridge, UK).
6.
Gordon
,
J. C. D.
(
1991
). “
Evaluation of a method for determining the length of sperm whales (Physeter catodon) from their vocalizations
,”
J. Zool.
224
,
310
314
.
7.
Gordon, J., and Tyack, P. L. (2002). “Acoustic techniques for studying cetaceans,” in Marine Mammals: Biology and Conservation, edited by P. G. H. Evans and T. Raga (Plenum, London).
8.
Griffin, D. R. (1958). Listening in the Dark (Yale University Press, New Haven).
9.
Jaquet
,
N.
,
Dawson
,
S.
, and
Douglas
,
L.
(
2001
). “
Vocal behavior of male sperm whales: Why do they click?
J. Acoust. Soc. Am.
109
,
2254
2259
.
10.
Johnson
,
M.
, and
Tyack
,
P. L.
(
2003
). “
A digital acoustic recording tag for measuring the response of wild marine mammals to sound
,”
IEEE J. Ocean. Eng.
28
,
3
12
.
11.
Kinsler, E., L., Frey, A. R., Coppens, A. B., and Sanders, J. V. (1982). Fundamentals of Acoustics (Wiley, New York).
12.
Kinzey
,
D.
, and
Gerrodette
,
T.
(
2001
). “
Conversion factors for binocular reticules
,”
Marine Mammal Sci.
17
,
353
361
.
13.
Madsen, P. T. (2002). “Sperm whale sound production,” PhD. dissertation (University of Aarhus).
14.
Madsen
,
P. T.
,
Wahlberg
,
M.
, and
Møhl
,
B.
(
2002
). “
Male sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus) acoustics in a high latitude habitat: Implications for echolocation and communication
,”
Behav. Ecol. Sociobiol.
53
,
31
41
.
15.
Madsen
,
P. T.
,
Payne
,
R.
,
Kristiansen
,
N. U.
,
Wahlberg
,
M.
,
Kerr
,
I.
, and
Møhl
,
B.
(
2002
). “
Sperm whale sound production studied with ultrasound time/depth-recording tags
,”
J. Exp. Biol.
205
,
1899
1906
.
16.
Madsen
,
P. T.
,
Carder
,
D. A.
,
Au
,
W. W. L.
,
Nachtigall
,
P. E.
,
Møhl
,
B.
, and
Ridgway
,
S. H.
(
2003
). “
Sound production in neonate sperm whale
,”
J. Acoust. Soc. Am.
113
,
2988
2991
.
17.
Medwin, H., and Clay, C. S. (1998). Fundamentals of Acoustic Oceanography (Academic, San Diego).
18.
Miller
,
P. J. O.
,
Johnson
,
M. P.
,
Tyack
,
P. L.
, and
Terray
,
E. A.
(
2004
). “
Swimming gaits, passive drag and buoyancy of diving sperm whales Physeter macrocephalus
,”
J. Exp. Biol.
207
,
1953
1967
.
19.
Møhl
,
B.
(
2001
). “
Sound transmission in the nose of the sperm whale Physeter catodon. A postmortem study
,”
J. Comp. Physiol., A
187
,
335
340
.
20.
Møhl
,
B.
, and
Andersen
,
S.
(
1973
). “
Echolocation: High-frequency component in the click of the harbor porpoise (Phocoena ph. L.)
,”
J. Acoust. Soc. Am.
54
,
1368
1372
.
21.
Møhl
,
B.
,
Wahlberg
,
M.
,
Madsen
,
P. T.
,
Heerfordt
,
A.
, and
Lund
,
A.
(
2000
). “
Sperm whale clicks: Directionality and source level revisited
,”
J. Acoust. Soc. Am.
107
,
638
648
.
22.
Møhl
,
B.
,
Wahlberg
,
M
,
Madsen
,
P. T.
,
Heerfordt
,
A.
, and
Lund
,
A.
(
2003
). “
The monopulsed nature of sperm whale clicks
,”
J. Acoust. Soc. Am.
114
,
1143
1154
.
23.
Moore
,
K. E.
,
Watkins
,
W. A.
, and
Tyack
,
P. L.
(
1993
). “
Pattern similarity in shared codas from sperm whales (Physeter catodon)
,”
Marine Mammal Sci.
9
,
1
9
.
24.
Moss
,
C.
, and
Surlykke
,
A.
(
2001
). “
Auditory scene analysis by echolocation in bats
,”
J. Acoust. Soc. Am.
110
,
2207
2226
.
25.
Mullins
,
J.
,
Whitehead
,
H.
, and
Weilgart
,
L.
(
1988
). “
Behaviour and vocalization of two sperm whales, Physeter macrocephalus, off Nova Scotia
,”
Can. J. Fish. Aquat. Sci.
45
,
1736
1743
.
26.
Norris, K. S., and Harvey, G. W. (1972). “A theory for the function of the spermaceti organ of the sperm whale (Physter catodon L.),” in Animal Orientation and Navigation, edited by S. R. Galler, K. Schmidt-Koenig, G. J. Jacobs, and R. E. Belleville, SP-262 (NASA, Washington D. C.), pp. 397–417.
27.
Page
,
S. E.
(
1954
). “
Continuous inspection schemes
,”
Biometrika
41
,
100
115
.
28.
Randall, R. B. (1987). Frequency Analysis (Brüel & Kjær, Nærum, Denmark).
29.
Rendell
,
L. E.
, and
Whitehead
,
H.
(
2003
). “
Vocal clans in sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus)
,”
Proc. R. Soc. London, Ser. B
270
(
1512
),
225
231
.
30.
Rhinelander
,
M. Q.
, and
Dawson
,
S. M.
(
2004
). “
Measuring sperm whales from their clicks: Stability of interpulse intervals and validation that they indicate whale length
,”
J. Acoust. Soc. Am.
115
,
1826
1831
.
31.
Thode
,
A.
,
Mellinger
,
D. K.
,
Stienessen
,
S.
,
Martinez
,
A.
, and
Mullin
,
K.
(
2002
). “
Depth dependent acoustic features of diving sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) in the Gulf of Mexico
,”
J. Acoust. Soc. Am.
112
,
308
321
.
32.
Tyack
,
P. L.
(
1997
). “
Studying how cetaceans use sound to explore their environment
,”
Perspec. Ethol.
12
,
251
297
.
33.
Urick, R. J. (1983). Principles of Underwater Sound (McGraw-Hill, New York).
34.
Wald, A. (1947). Sequential Analysis (Wiley, New York).
35.
Watkins W. (1980). “Acoustics and the behavior of sperm whales,” in Animal Sonar Systems, edited by R. Busnel and J. F. Fish (Plenum, New York), pp. 291–297.
36.
Watkins, W. A., and Daher, M. A. (2004). “Variable spectra and nondirectional characteristics of clicks from near-surface sperm whales (Physeter catodon),” in Echolocation in Bats and Dolphins, edited by J. A. Thomas, C. F. Moss, and M. Vater (The Univeristy of Chicago Press, Chicago), pp. 410–413.
37.
Watkins
,
W. A.
, and
Schevill
,
W. E.
(
1977
). “
Sperm whale codas
,”
J. Acoust. Soc. Am.
62
,
1485
1490
.
38.
Weilgart
,
L.
, and
Whitehead
,
H.
(
1988
). “
Distinct vocalizations from mature male sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus)
,”
Can. J. Zool.
66
,
1931
1939
.
39.
Weilgart
,
L.
, and
Whitehead
,
H.
(
1993
). “
Coda communications by sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) off the Galapagos Islands
,”
Can. J. Zool.
71
,
744
752
.
40.
Whitehead
,
H.
, and
Weilgart
,
L.
(
1991
). “
Pattern of visually observable behavior and vocalizations in groups of female sperm whales
,”
Behaviour
118
,
275
296
.
41.
Whitehead
,
H.
(
1996
). “
Babysitting, dive synchrony, and indication of alloparental care in sperm whales
,”
Behav. Ecol. Sociobiol.
38
,
237
244
.
42.
Zimmer
,
W. M. X.
,
Johnson
,
M. P.
,
D’Amico
,
A.
, and
Tyack
,
P. L.
(
2003
). “
Combining data from a multisensor tag and passive sonar to determine the diving behavior of a sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus)
,”
IEEE J. Ocean. Eng.
28
,
13
28
.
This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.