Wildlife Acoustics Blog


Dolphins respond to their names when called

Dolphins respond to their names when called

About a year ago, scientists found that dolphins in captivity seemed to have ”signature whistles” or names for each other. According to the previous study, dolphins would use a specific whistle to refer to other dolphins. However, a new finding published at the end of July takes it a step further.

Scientists in St Andrews Bay off the coast of Scotland studied the behavior in a group of bottle nosed dolphins. They played the dolphins their own whistle “names” as well as the names of dolphins in their social group and dolphins of unrelated social groups. The actual whistle calls were tuned slightly to mimic a different “voice”. This removed the possibility that the dolphins were merely recognized the call of a familiar dolphin. When the dolphins heard their own name, they whistled it back in recognition and swam towards the sound. When they heard the whistle names of familiar dolphins, they showed a slight response indicative of recognition, and when they heard the names of dolphins they didn’t recognize, they showed no response.

This proves yet again, that we know relatively little about these intelligent creatures. The signature whistles only account for about half of dolphin whistle sounds, leaving plenty of room for research into the possible meaning of other dolphin vocalizations. We are excited to see what scientists find next!

The SM2+ climbs aboard the Turanor PlanetSolar!

The SM2+ climbs aboard the Turanor PlanetSolar!

The world's largest solar powered boat, the Turanor PlanetSolar, is on a mission to spread the message of sustainable energy while investigating and raising public awareness about climate change. It is currently on it's 2013 DeepWater expedition, where the boat will travel along the Gulf Stream, collecting data from both water and air. We are pleased to announce that our very own SM2+ bioacoustics recorder will be traveling along with it. This past Friday, I went with our Product Manager, Sherwood Snyder, and Mona Doss, Director of Sales, to show the science team how to use the device which we had just donated to them.

Walking up to the PlanetSolar is like walking up to a spaceship floating on water. It looks nothing like any of the boats surrounding it. It is streamlined, futuristic, and absolutely breathtaking. Outside sat two large plants flanking the entryway, a gift the ship received from Monaco.

Once inside we were greeted by a few of the scientific crew members. We settled on the best place to put the the SM2+ and attached hydrophone and quickly showed them how simple it was to change batteries and SD cards.


How to get the most out of your SM2+ recorder

How to get the most out of your SM2+ recorder

Hello again All,

So, pop quiz, what firmware revision are your SM2s running? Right now? Do you know where your firmware is?

All joking aside, keeping your firmware updated is one of the easiest ways to make sure that your SM2 recorders are running up to snuff. Every time our engineering staff releases a new version, you can be assured that bugs will be fixed and (maybe) a few new features will be added. Let’s take a look one of the great things that the latest firmware revision as of this writing (3.2.5) holds for you: the SD Card Speed Test.

Wildlife Acoustics is proud to support wildlife conservation efforts

Merlin Tuttle's Bat Conservation Bat Conservation International Bat Conservation Trust Wildlife Habitat Counsil