An overview of North Atlantic right whale acoustic behavior, hearing capabilities, and responses to sound

Leanna P. Matthews, Susan E. Parks

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Creating a baseline understanding of communicative signals and perceptual abilities is imperative for gaining insight into a species' life history. This is especially relevant for at-risk species, as it can aid in monitoring and conservation efforts. Marine mammals communicate predominately through acoustic modalities for a variety of functions, including foraging and reproduction. The acoustic signals produced by marine mammals, and their ability to perceive signals produced by conspecifics, are directly impacted by the level of ambient noise in the underwater environment in which they inhabit. Modern ocean noise levels are considerably louder than historical levels, and noise is therefore considered to be a threat to acoustically communicating marine mammal species. This review summarizes the documented acoustic signals, hearing abilities, and responses to sound of a critically endangered baleen whale, the North Atlantic right whale (Eubalaena glacialis), highlights gaps in the current body of literature, and identifies priorities for future research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number113043
JournalMarine Pollution Bulletin
Volume173
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2021

Keywords

  • Acoustic behavior
  • Acoustic communication
  • Hearing
  • Marine mammals
  • North Atlantic right whale
  • Perception

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oceanography
  • Aquatic Science
  • Pollution

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