Marine Birds Can Hear Under Water

News ID: 1426575 Service: Science
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TEHRAN (Tasnim) - For the first time, researchers have shown that a marine bird can hear under water. This offers new possibilities for the protection of marine birds in trafficked waters.

Seals, whales and other marine animals can hear under water. The cormorant also has this ability, which new research from University of Southern Denmark (SDU) shows.

According to the biologists, it makes good sense, that cormorants can hear under water -- the environment where it finds most of its food.

About every tenth bird species -- ca. 800 species -- in the world hunts under water, and it may turn out that they too can also hear under water.

Researchers from the Department of Biology at University of Southern Denmark have tested the cormorant, Loke's, hearing. Loke lives at SDU's marine biology research station in the Danish town Kerteminde.

"Hearing under water must be a very useful sense for cormorants. They depend on being able to find food, even if the water is not clear, or if they live in the Arctic regions where it is dark for long periods at a time," said Kirstin Hansen, Ph.D.

Loke's hearing abilities are on a par with the hearing of the toothed whale and the seal.

He can hear sounds ranging between 1 and 4 kHz, and it is in this range that fish such as sculpin and herring produce sounds. Both sculpin and herring are on the cormorant's menu.

1-4 kHz is not only the range in which fish sounds are found. There are also various human-made sounds found in this range.

Human-made sounds can be everything from spinning wind turbines and ship traffic to water scooters and drilling platforms.

Materials of the study, published in Science Daily, have been provided by University of Southern Denmark.

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