Au, Whitlow W. L. Marine Mammal Research Program, Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology, Kailua, Hawaii.
Last reviewed:October 2019
- Airborne and underwater acoustics
- Auditory capabilities and processes
- Sound emissions and production
- Function and meaning of vocalizations
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
The study of the role of sounds in the life history of animals. Almost all animals, from insects to large mammals, depend on sounds for their well-being and survival. Sounds are used by animals for a wide variety of reasons such as advertisement for mating, territory demarcation, group cohesion, prey location, infant-mother identification and contact, predator detection, alarm warning, and social communication. The field of animal bioacoustics can be subdivided into the acoustics of terrestrial animals and aquatic animals. Each field of study can be subdivided into (1) auditory capabilities and processes, (2) characteristics of sound emissions and mechanisms of sound production, and (3) the function and meaning of specific vocalizations.
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