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Special Virtual Biology Department Seminar: Drivers of Echolocation and Biosonar-Based Foraging in Social Cetaceans

April 2, 2020 @ 9:00 am

Frants Jensen, WHOI

Sponsored by: Biology Department
This will be held virtually over Webex. If you wish to view the seminar, please use this link:


If you are asked for an event number and password, please use “478 466 639” and “biology”, respectively.

All toothed whales rely on high-intensity biosonar signals to detect, discriminate, and capture moving prey. This sophisticated active sensory system has allowed these top predators to succeed in a wide variety of habitats from shallow rivers to the deep open oceans. Here, I will synthesize some of our recent efforts to understand the sensory and socio-ecological basis for how these animals became so successful. I will provide an overview of the structure and dynamics of biosonar across toothed whales, emphasizing how aspects such as body size and habitat have shaped echolocation signals and thus sensory performance, while some aspects of biosonar has remained remarkably conserved across species. I will continue to show how we now use acoustic and movement recording DTAGs to track movement and foraging activity of entire groups of animals to understand the drivers of foraging success and collective foraging strategies in social toothed whales.