Antarctic type C killer whale ( Orcinus orca) call repertoire from McMurdo Sound, Ross Sea

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2018
Authors:Wellard, Pitman, Durban, Erbe
Journal:The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America
Pagination:1978 - 1978
Date Published:Jan-09-2018

Killer whales (Orcinus orca) are found in all oceans of the world. In Antarctic waters, five ecotypes have been described, each displaying distinct differences in morphological features, foraging behaviours, habitat and diet preferences, and genetic structure. Acoustic recordings of Type C killer whales were collected between December 2012 and January 2013 in McMurdo Sound, Ross Sea, Antarctica. Spectrograms of acoustic data were examined for characteristic patterns of Type C vocalizations and a call type catalogue was produced. We measured acoustic parameters of each call type for both whistle and burst-pulse sounds and we then compared call features of Type C animals to those of other killer whales described in the Southern Hemisphere. Analysis of calls revealed that Type C killer whales produce a large number of biphonations and complex calls with multiple frequency-modulated and pulsed components. The limited accessibility of Antarctic regions year-round makes passive acoustic monitoring (PAM) a very effective tool to derive information on ecotype-specific distribution and seasonal occurrence. This study provides new information on the call repertoire of Type C killer whales, investigates the potential use of PAM to study Antarctic ecotypes, and also examines utilising call repertoire as a reliable diagnostic tool for identifying sympatric ecotypes in Antarctic waters.

Short Title:The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America
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Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith