Sounds of the Reef
An Ecological Acoustic Recorder (EAR) can record a wide variety of sounds, including whales, dolphins, snapping shrimps, and fishes. Commonly identified fish sounds are produced by the Hawaiian damsel Dascyllus albisella (purr sound), soldierfish Myripristis spp. (drum sound), and butterfly fish Chaetodon spp. This page presents some of the sounds recorded by EARs. Click on a square below to toggle its sound on and off.
One of the most exciting findings EARs have provided is the discovery of Humpback whales using the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (NWHI) as a winter habitat, just as they do in the main Hawaiian Islands. It was commonly thought that Humpbacks only transited through the NWHI. EARs in the NWHI have recorded Humpback whale songs, indicating the use of the area as a breeding site [more (0.7 MB PDF)].