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Research Projects > A Phenomenon Discovered While Imaging Dolphin Echolocation Sounds

A Phenomenon Discovered While Imaging Dolphin Echolocation Sounds

We demonstrate that dolphin echolocation sound fields, when reflected from objects, contain embedded shape information that can be recovered and imaged by a CymaScope instrument. The recovered images of objects can be displayed both as 2-D images and 3-D printed objects.

Bottlenose dolphins, Tursiops truncatus, use directional, high- frequency broadband clicks, either individually or in “click train” bursts, to echolocate. Each click has a duration of between 50 to 128 microseconds. The highest frequencies our team has documented were approximately 300 kHz while other researchers have recorded frequencies up to 500 kHz emitted by Amazon river dolphins. The clicks allow dolphins to navigate, locate and characterize objects by processing the returning echoes. Echolocation ability or bio-sonar (Sound Navigation and Ranging) is also utilized by other Cetacea, most bats and some humans. Dolphins echolocate on objects, humans, and other life forms both above and below water.

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