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High-frequency modulated signals of killer whales (Orcinus orca) in the North Pacific
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Killer whales in the North Pacific, similar to Atlantic populations, produce high-frequency modulated signals, based on acoustic recordings from ship-based hydrophone arrays and autonomous recorders at multiple locations. The median peak frequency of these signals ranged from 19.6–36.1 kHz and median duration ranged from 50–163 ms. Source levels were 185–193 dB peak-to-peak re: 1 μPa at 1 m. These uniform, repetitive, down-swept signals are similar to bat echolocation signals and possibly could have echolocation functionality. A large geographic range of occurrence suggests that different killer whale ecotypes may utilize these signals.
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