Volume 128, Issue 6, December 2010
Index of content:
- BIOACOUSTICS 
128(2010); http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.3504707View Description Hide Description
Bat echolocation is a dynamic behavior that allows for real-time adaptations in the timing and spectro-temporal design of sonar signals in response to a particular task and environment. To enable detailed, quantitative analyses of adaptive sonar behavior, echolocation call design was investigated in big brown bats, trained to rest on a stationary platform and track a tethered mealworm that approached from a starting distance of about 170 cm in the presence of a stationary sonar distracter. The distracter was presented at different angular offsets and distances from the bat. The results of this study show that the distance and the angular offset of the distracter influence sonarvocalization parameters of the big brown bat, Eptesicus fuscus. Specifically, the bat adjusted its call duration to the closer of two objects, distracter or insect target, and the magnitude of the adjustment depended on the angular offset of the distracter. In contrast, the bat consistently adjusted its call rate to the distance of the insect, even when this target was positioned behind the distracter. The results hold implications for understanding spatial information processing and perception by echolocation.
Auditory masking of a 10 kHz tone with environmental, comodulated, and Gaussian noise in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus)128(2010); http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.3506367View Description Hide Description
The pattern of auditory masking derived from Gaussian noise is often cited and used to predict the detrimental effects of masking noise on marine mammals. However, environmental noise (both anthropogenic and natural) may not always be Gaussian distributed. Some noise sources are highly structured with complex amplitude fluctuations that extend across frequency regions, which are often termed comodulated noise. Recent evidence with bottlenose dolphins using comodulated noise demonstrated a significant release from masking compared to Gaussian maskers of the same bandwidth and pressure spectral density level, a result known as comodulation masking release. The present study demonstrates a pattern of masking where both temporally fluctuating comodulated noise and environmental noise produce lower masked thresholds compared to Gaussian noise of the same spectral density level and bandwidth. Furthermore, a threshold reduction or “masking release” occurred when the environmental noise bandwidth increased beyond a critical band. These results provide further evidence that conventional models of auditory masking using Gaussian maskers (i.e., the power spectrum model) do not fully describe the masking effects that occur in realistic environments.
128(2010); http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.3506378View Description Hide Description
Maintenance work on the harbor of Setúbal, in Portugal, required the removal of a 14-m deep rocky outcrop at the ship maneuver area, using about 35 kg of Gelamonite, a nitroglycerin-based high-explosive. This important harbor is located in the Sado estuary, a biologically rich environment and an important feeding area for a resident community of bottlenose dolphins. Using different safe range calculation models, a mitigation and monitoring plan was developed that minimized the risks of these underwater explosions for the dolphins. At our monitoring station, at 2 km from the demolition site, acoustic pressure levels in excess of 170 dB re 1 μPa (root-mean-square) were measured. Samples of dead fish collected at the site were indicative of shock trauma from the blasts.