A two-dimensional array of 16 hydrophones was created to map the spatial distribution of different frequencies within the echolocation beam of a Tursiops truncatus and a Pseudorca crassidens. It was previously shown that both the Tursiops and Pseudorca only paid attention to frequencies between 29 and 42 kHz while echolocating. Both individuals tightly focused the 30 kHz frequency and the spatial location of the focus was consistently pointed toward the target. At 50 kHz the beam was less focused and less precisely pointed at the target. At 100 kHz the focus was often completely lost and was not pointed at the target. This indicates that these individuals actively focused the beam toward the target only in the frequency range they paid attention to. Frequencies outside this range were left unfocused and undirected. This focusing was probably achieved through sensorimotor control of the melon morphology and nasal air sacs. This indicates that both morphologically different species can control the spatial distribution of different frequency ranges within the echolocation beam to create consistent ensonation of desired targets.
Spatial orientation of different frequencies within the echolocation beam of a Tursiops truncatus and Pseudorca crassidens
Stuart D. Ibsen, Paul E. Nachtigall, Jacqueline Krause-Nehring, Laura Kloepper, Marlee Breese, Songhai Li, Stephanie Vlachos; Spatial orientation of different frequencies within the echolocation beam of a Tursiops truncatus and Pseudorca crassidens. J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 1 August 2012; 132 (2): 1213–1221. https://doi.org/10.1121/1.4730900
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