Sounds of the Deep Transcripts

November 30, 2016 (updated 12/01/2016)

Below are transcripts of the recordings found on our Sounds of the Deep page.

Blue Whale D

Blue whales produce several different call types. Bouts of down-sweeping calls from ~80-45 Hz lasting 1-2 second duration are known as D calls and are generally associated with social and feeding behaviors. The ones presented here were recorded in November 2013 off the Kona coast of Hawaiʻi . Blue whale populations also have regionally distinct songs. These regional vocalizations are stereotypical and are made up of a series of distinctive calls (not shown).

Blue whale D call spectrograms.
Blue whale D call spectrograms.

Bottlenose Dolphin

Bottlenose dolphins make a wide variety of sounds including whistles, echolocation clicks, and other pulsed sounds. They often produce whistles with multiple upward and downward sweeps in a row. These sounds were recorded on a towed hydrophone array behind the research vessel as the dolphins were bow-riding.

Dwarf Sperm Whale

Dwarf sperm whales produce clicks at a very high frequency (~126 kHz), which is well above human hearing (max ~20 kHz), therefore no recording is included here. This image shows 5 seconds of a recording from a dwarf sperm whale. The animals use these echolocation clicks to navigate, find prey and communicate while at the surface and during their deep hunting dives when they go down to ~500 m. Although this species lives throughout the world in tropical and subtropical waters, there are only 3 known recordings of this species because they are difficult to locate and are shy of boats.

Dwarf sperm spectrogram.
Dwarf sperm spectrogram.

False Killer Whales

A pod of the main Hawaiian Island insular false killer whales produces a variety of low frequency whistles. They range from a single, flat tone to having multiple upward and downward sweeps.

Humpback Whales

Humpback whales produce complex songs and learn a new song each year, and that song gradually changes over the winter season. The audio clip has calls as low as 100 Hz and higher than 1,000 Hz. These calls were recorded in January of 2014 off the Kona Coast of Hawaiʻi.

Humpback whale spectrograms.
Humpback whale spectrograms.
Humpback whale whoop spectrograms.
Humpback whale "whoop" spectrograms.

Killer Whales

These killer whales were recorded off the coast of Hawaiʻi Island producing a series of low and high-pitched whistles to communicate with other adult and juvenile members of their pod. Killer whales are relatively rare in Hawaiʻi.

Mystery Cetacean

Sounds of an unknown cetacean recorded in Saipan on August 2015. The main signal starts at 37 Hz with harmonics up to 415 Hz and lasting between 2-4 seconds.

Mystery cetacean spectrogram.
Mystery cetacean spectrogram.

Pilot Whales

Pilot whales often travel in larger pods and can be very vocally active, producing both echolocation clicks and low-pitched whistles. Their whistles have a squeaky quality similar to slowly letting air out of a balloon. They also produce burst pulses that are a repetitive series of pulsed sounds used in communication and hunting.

Rough-Toothed Dolphins

Rough-toothed dolphins produce whistles with "stepped" upward sweeping segments. Echolocation clicks give them the ability to explore their environment and search for prey. These sounds were recorded using a towed array behind the ship offshore of Maui.

Sperm Whale

Sperm whales produce low frequency echolocation clicks. This example of the sperm whale's "usual clicks" was recorded in December 2015 off of Saipan. These "clicks" are used for navigation and prey location during their long (~45 minutes), deep (500-1500 meter) foraging dives.

Sperm whale spectrograms.
Sperm whale spectrograms.
Sperm whale LTSA spectrogram.
Sperm whale LTSA spectrogram.