Communication and Perception
Of all the marine animals, male bearded seals are among the most vocally expressive, especially during spring breeding season. Their minute-long songs can be described as sinister and monotone but also harmonious. They are generally characterized as chirps, ascents, sweeps, or grumbles. During their song, bearded seals begin a slow, circular dive while emitting bubbles until resurfacing. It is believed that these songs are typical of courtship routines and or distinguishing breeding territory. Many underwater recordings of marine mammal communication in the Alaskan/Bering Strait region are predominately composed of songs of bearded seals.
Communication Channels: visual ; tactile ; acoustic
Perception Channels: visual ; acoustic
- Cleator, H., I. Stirling, T. Smith. 1989. Underwater vocalizations of the bearded seal (Erignathus barbatus). Canadian Journal of Zoology, 67.8: 1900-1910.
- Terhune, J. 1999. Pitch separation as a possible jamming avoidance mechanism in underwater calls of bearded seals (Erignathus barbatus). Canadian Journal of Zoology, 77: 1025-1034.