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marine mamals

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Marine mammals use both vocal and non-vocal sounds to help them find and capture food. Echolocation is the type of vocal sound used by marine mammals. Using sound to see is important to marine mammals because it allows them to feed in the dark at night and in deep or murky water where it is not easy to see. Echolocation is used mostly by whales to capture single prey items such as fish or squid. Bats are the only other mammals known to use echolocation for feeding. Echolocation used in feeding is different from sounds used in communication. Vocal signals used for communication provide animals with information about other animals in the area. ...read more.


As an echolocating animal gets closer to its targeted prey item, the clicks get faster and faster. The series of echolocation clicks leading up to a capture attempt of a prey item is called click train. As the interval between the clicks gets shorter, the click train starts to sound like a buzz. The returning echoes sound different than the original click produced by the animal. The differences between the sound of the original click and the returning echo that tell the echolocating animal with information about the size, shape, direction, and even making of the object. Dolphins have an amazing ability to detect a target the size of a golf ball almost a football field away. ...read more.


A bubble net is formed when the bubbles emitted by the whales form a ring and concentrate the prey inside. This helps the whales to see there food more easily. Bubble Feeding! Kerplunking! Bottlenose dolphins also make use of sound and bubbles. Dolphins feeding in seagrass beds in Australia and Florida use a technique called kerplunking to drive fish from the protection of the sea grasses. A dolphin will lift its tail and lower body out of the water and crash it down on the water surface. This causes a loud splash and creates a trail of bubbles under the water. The bubbles formed by kerplunking function much in the same way as they do during humpback feeding. The bubbles startle the fish hiding in the seagrass and flush them from their hiding places, making it easier for the dolphin to detect them. ...read more.

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