Educational Resources-Communication and Echolocation

(Busch, 2002 & Drum, 2003)
This section is designed to aid the teachers in fulfilling the following AHSGE Standards and Objectives requirements.

  • Standard: I-1
  • Standard: II-1
  • Standard: III-3
  • Standard: VI-1

“Dolphins probably rely on sound production and reception to navigate, communicate and hunt in the dark or murky waters. Under these conditions, site is of little use.” (Busch, 2003)



  • Toothed whales are unique in the fact that they can communicate with others and navigate waters at the same time
  • Toothed whales do not have vocal cords
  • Scientist suggest that “regional whistles” are generated in the larynx and “clicks” are produced in the nasal sac (Au, 1993)
  • Bottlenose dolphins identify themselves with a signature whistle, but scientists do not feel that it is any specific from of communicable language. (Caldwell, Caldwell, and Tyack, 1990)


  • Echolocation involves the emission of a sound and the return of its echo as it bounces off an object
  • Water is an excellent conductor to transmit sound
  • Dolphins can emit sound from their melons (see physical characteristics
  • Most of the dolphins hearing seems to take place in the lower jaw and it is them transmitted to the inner ear
  • Research has shown that the lower jaw can receive sounds about the frequency 20 kHz. (Brill, et, al, 1998)

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