Aerial low frequency hearing in captive and free-ranging harbour seals (Phoca vitulina) using auditory brainstem responses

Klaus Lucke, Gordon Drummond Hastie, Kerstin Ternes, Bernie J McConnell, Simon Moss, Deborah Jill Russell, Heike Weber, Vincent M. Janik

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3 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

The hearing sensitivity of 18 free-ranging and 10 captive harbour seals (Phoca vitulina) to aerial sounds was measured in the presence of typical environmental noise through auditory brainstem response measurements. A focus was put on the comparative hearing sensitivity at low frequencies. Low- and mid-frequency thresholds appeared to be elevated in both captive and free-ranging seals but this is likely due to masking effects and limitations of the methodology used. The data also showed individual variability in hearing sensitivity with probable age-related hearing loss found in two old harbour seals. These results suggest that the acoustic sensitivity of free-ranging animals was not negatively affected by the soundscape they experienced in the wild.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)859-868
JournalJournal of Comparative Physiology A: Neuroethology, Sensory, Neural, and Behavioral Physiology
Volume202
Issue number12
Early online date31 Oct 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2016

Keywords

  • Harbour seal
  • Phoca vitulina
  • Hearing
  • ABR
  • Low-frequency

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