Cetaceans and Sound
The “Voices” of Cetaceans
Cetaceans do not have vocal cords like we do. Instead, they create sound by vibrating phonic lips inside their blowholes. Cetaceans have three different kinds of voice patterns, namely whistles, clicks, and burst pulses. Scientists are still studying what those “voices” mean.
Dolphins use a clear, whistle-like sound to communicate with each other.
Dolphins emit a series of grinding-like clicks to identify the location and size of what's in front of them through echolocation.
These are aggressive and unclear sounds that dolphins produce when they bump into each other or express a threat.
The Ability to “See” by Hearing
Visibility underwater is quite limited compared to visibility on land. Contrarily, sound travels five times faster through water than through air. Toothed whales benefit from this with their hearing ability. Toothed whales create ultrasonic waves by vibrating their phonic lips within their blowholes and by receiving the return echo to detect the location and shape of obstacles or prey. This ability in animals is called “echolocation.”