Communication and Perception
Dolphins, like other odontocetes, use echolocation. Hector’s dolphins produce narrow (3dB) bandwidth sounds which range from 7 to 56 kHz. Recordings of high frequency clicks had peak frequencies of 82 to 135 kHz and ranged in length from 80 to 800 microseconds. Most clicks produced by Hector’s dolphins are simple and just over half (52%) have one peak and 40% have two peaks. Research suggests that clicks with one peak are best for determining distance rather than velocity. Clicks with multiple peaks may be used to determine velocities of other animals as well as communicate with other conspecifics. High frequency clicks are audible to humans and are often linked with aerial behavior, which may indicate a state of excitement.
Communication Channels: visual ; tactile ; acoustic ; chemical
Other Communication Modes: vibrations
Perception Channels: visual ; acoustic ; ultrasound ; echolocation ; vibrations ; magnetic
- Thorpe, C., R. Bates, S. Dawson. 1991. Intrinsic echolocation capability of Hector’s dolphin, Cephalorhynchus hectori. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 90/6: 2931-2934.
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