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Classification of underwater vocalizations of wild spotted seals (Phoca largha) in Liaodong Bay, China

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Liangliang Yang, Professor Per Berggren



This is the final published version of an article that has been published in its final definitive form by AIP Publishing LLC, 2017.

For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.


© 2017 Acoustical Society of America. Underwater vocalizations were recorded and classified from wild spotted seals (Phoca largha) in Liaodong Bay, China. The spotted seals exhibited an extensive underwater vocal repertoire but with limited complexity. Four major call types, representing 77.8% of all calls recorded, were identified using multivariate analyses of ten acoustic parameters; knock, growl, drum, and sweep. The calls were relatively brief (12-270 ms, mean of −10 dB duration) pulsating sounds of low-frequency (peak frequency <600 Hz) and narrow bandwidth (169-232 Hz, mean of −3 dB bandwidth; 237-435 Hz, mean of −6 dB bandwidth). Frequency variables (−3/−6 dB frequency bandwidth, center frequency, and top three peak frequencies) were the primary descriptors used to differentiate the call types. Comparing the spotted seal underwater vocalizations with those of the closely related Pacific harbor seal (Phoca vitulina richardii) indicated that the two species use similar bandwidths and peak frequencies but spotted seal calls were generally shorter. Knowledge of underwater vocalizations of wild spotted seals is important for understanding the species behavior and for planning future acoustic surveys of its distribution and occurrence.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Yang L, Xu X, Zhang P, Han J, Li B, Berggren P

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of the Acoustical Society of America

Year: 2017

Volume: 141

Issue: 3

Pages: 2256-2262

Online publication date: 31/03/2017

Acceptance date: 09/03/2017

Date deposited: 20/06/2017

ISSN (print): 0001-4966

ISSN (electronic): 1520-8524

Publisher: AIP Publishing LLC


DOI: 10.1121/1.4979056


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No. LSYXFZ20111105