Seals’ hearing helps them to survive

Two young male spotted-seals were use to test hearing above and below water.

Spotted seals good hearing on and off land is one of the main reason why their species is thriving today according to a new study presented by researcher Jillian Sils and colleagues.

In areas of rapid climate change and increasing industrialization along the continental shelf such as Alaska to the Sea of Japan spotted seals exist. There are many life-threatening obstacles for seals such as sharks, polar bears, and orcas. Aside from the food chain, one of their major dangers is boats and other human resources.

Scientist Sills published a study on February 26 in the Journal of Experimental Biology which represents their findings on spotted seals’ auditory capability. They conducted testing on  two male spotted seals at the Long Marine Laboratory. Their hearing was tested in both a pool of sea water and an above ground acoustic chamber.

Results showed that their range of hearing was seven octaves of sounds which was very similar to that of harbor seals and better than Arctic seals. On land, seals can hear as well as cats or dogs and detect four octaves of sound.

Spotted-seals hearing has helped them to survive thus far in both environments. Sound aids them as a warning for predators and boats coming their way. Seals are hanging on despite the changing times.

Sources:

Spotted seal hearing impressive in air and water J. Exp. Biol. 2014 217:631.

 

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