Investigation of in-air vocal communication between harbour seals (phoca vitulina)
University of New Brunswick
Female harbour seals (Phoca vitulina) keep track of their pups by following the vocalizations the pups make. The maximum communication distance possible between the seals when communicating in the air over the sea surface was investigated and found to be about 320 metres. This value was found through the use of experimental data collected, which included sound speed profiles over the sea surface, and transmission losses of pure tones over the sea surface. The solll1d speed profiles were used in a computer model of sound transmission. The predictions of the model did not accurately reproduce the observed transmission losses, at least partly because the sound speed data were not accurate. However, physical information was obtained through the use of the computer model.