How Cetaceans Sing

Le 24 Mars 2017
11h30 Grande Salle CEFE (1919 Rte de Mende, 1e étage, aille C)

Joy Reidenberg
Mount Sinai School of  Medicine, New York, USA -


(Seminar in English)

Cetaceans (baleen and toothed whales, including dolphins and porpoises) produce sound underwater for communication, prey capture, and navigation. Despite their close phylogenetic relationship, these two cetacean groups have evolved in opposite directions regarding their sound producing mechanisms. Baleen whales use the larynx to vocalize in the low frequency (infrasonic) range, while toothed whales use the nasal region to generate high frequency (ultrasonic) clicks for echolocation and navigation. This talk will explain the anatomical mechanisms of cetacean sound generation and transmission to water, and the divergent evolutionary trajectories these two groups have followed. Comparisons will be made to the whale’s closest relative (the hippopotamus), as well as to a range of other aquatic and terrestrial mammals including humans.


Recent publications:

Cazau, D, Adam, O, Aubin, T, Laitman, JT, Reidenberg, JS (2016) A study of vocal nonlinearities in humpback whale songs: from production mechanisms to acoustic analysis. Nature: Sci. Rep. 6:31660

Adam, O, Cazau, D, Gandilhon, N, Fabre, B, Laitman, JT, Reidenberg, JS (2013) New acoustic model for Humpback whale sound production. J. Applied Acoustics 74(10):1182-1190.

Cazau, D, Adam, O, Laitman, JT, Reidenberg, JS (2013) Understanding the intentional acoustic behavior of humpback whales: A production-based approach. J. Acoust. Soc. Am., 134 (3):2268-2273.

Reidenberg, JS, Laitman, JT (2007) Discovery of a Low Frequency Sound Source in Mysticeti (Baleen Whales): Anatomical Establishment of a Vocal Fold Homolog. Anat. Rec. 290:745-760.




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