Aerial low frequency hearing in captive and free-ranging harbour seals (Phoca vitulina) using auditory brainstem responses
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The hearing sensitivity of 18 free-ranging and 10 captive harbour seals (Phoca vitulina) to aerial sounds was measured in the presence of typical environmental noise through auditory brainstem response measurements. A focus was put on the comparative hearing sensitivity at low frequencies. Low- and mid-frequency thresholds appeared to be elevated in both captive and free-ranging seals but this is likely due to masking effects and limitations of the methodology used. The data also showed individual variability in hearing sensitivity with probable age-related hearing loss found in two old harbour seals. These results suggest that the acoustic sensitivity of free-ranging animals was not negatively affected by the soundscape they experienced in the wild.
Lucke , K , Hastie , G D , Ternes , K , McConnell , B J , Moss , S , Russell , D J , Weber , H & Janik , V M 2016 , ' Aerial low frequency hearing in captive and free-ranging harbour seals ( Phoca vitulina ) using auditory brainstem responses ' Journal of Comparative Physiology A: Neuroethology, Sensory, Neural, and Behavioral Physiology , vol 202 , no. 12 , pp. 859-868 . DOI: 10.1007/s00359-016-1126-8
Journal of Comparative Physiology A: Neuroethology, Sensory, Neural, and Behavioral Physiology
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The study was funded by a grant from the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) as part of their Offshore Energy Strategic Environmental Assessment programme.
- NERC Sea Mammal Research Unit (SMRU) Research
- Institute of Behavioural and Neural Sciences Research
- Biology Research
- Centre for Research into Ecological & Environmental Modelling (CREEM) Research
- Scottish Oceans Institute Research
- Centre for Social Learning and Cognitive Evolution Research
- University of St Andrews Research
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