An optical telemetry device to identify which dolphin produces a sound. Academic Article uri icon


  • A small telemetry device, called a "vocalight," was designed for attachment to a dolphin's head using a suction cup. The vocalight lights up a variable number of light-emitting diodes depending upon the loudness of sounds received at a hydrophone within the suction cup. If vocalights matched for sensitivity are put on each dolphin within a captive group, observers can identify which dolphin produces a vocalization. Use of vocalights indicates that source levels of whistles from captive bottlenosed dolphins, Tursiops truncatus, range from approximately 125 to over 140 dB re: 1 microPa at 1 m.

publication date

  • November 1985