Presentation Title

Acoustic Structure of False Killer Whale (Pseudorca cassidens) Sounds off The Coast of El Salvador

Project Collaborators

Nicola Ransome, Laura J May-Collado (Faculty Mentor)

Abstract

The False Killer Whale (Pseudorca crassidens) is a dolphin found primarily in tropical waters. They are gregarious and have strong social bonds. They are known to form mixed species groups with bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) and, in captivity, are known to interbreed and produce viable offspring. Like bottlenose dolphins they rely on sound for navigation, foraging, and social bonding. However, there is little information about their acoustic behavior. This study described the acoustic repertoire of false killer whales recorded opportunistically in El Salvador. Acoustic signals were inspected in RAVEN and classified into whistles, pulsed sounds, and graded (a combination of whistles and pulses). Several frequency and time variables were extracted from their contour. We expect to find a rich acoustic repertoire as described for other pelagic and island populations in Hawaii, one of the few places where they have been studying exhaustively. This study provides the first description of the acoustic repertoire of false killer whales in El Salvador.

Primary Faculty Mentor Name

Laura J May-Collado

Status

Undergraduate

Student College

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Program/Major

Psychological Science

Primary Research Category

Biological Sciences

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Acoustic Structure of False Killer Whale (Pseudorca cassidens) Sounds off The Coast of El Salvador

The False Killer Whale (Pseudorca crassidens) is a dolphin found primarily in tropical waters. They are gregarious and have strong social bonds. They are known to form mixed species groups with bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) and, in captivity, are known to interbreed and produce viable offspring. Like bottlenose dolphins they rely on sound for navigation, foraging, and social bonding. However, there is little information about their acoustic behavior. This study described the acoustic repertoire of false killer whales recorded opportunistically in El Salvador. Acoustic signals were inspected in RAVEN and classified into whistles, pulsed sounds, and graded (a combination of whistles and pulses). Several frequency and time variables were extracted from their contour. We expect to find a rich acoustic repertoire as described for other pelagic and island populations in Hawaii, one of the few places where they have been studying exhaustively. This study provides the first description of the acoustic repertoire of false killer whales in El Salvador.