Thursday, August 16, 2012

One week down

One week down. A fair amount of acoustic data, but not from our target species. The strong trade winds are holding us back from heading up north to the 'hotspot' areas where we are most likely to see melon-headed whales and false killer whales. We traveled north for a short while today but were pushed back by strong winds and 10' seas.

Two pilot whales
(Photo: T. A. Mooney, NMFS permit # 15530 to CRC)
Heading back south, we encountered a group of pilot whales. We deployed the towfish withe DMON acoustic recorder (we now call the system the DFish) and recorded some great sounds. This group had about 4 young animals in it, including 3 'young-of-the-year.'  These are animals that are born this year. They were a quite a helpful group that allowed us to record some social sounds, perhaps between the mom-calf pairs, or to coordinate diving. We hope to address who is making the sounds (and why) as we analyze these data in the upcoming months.

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