Cetacean ears

TitleCetacean ears
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication2000
AuthorsKetten, D. R.
EditorsAu, W. W. L., A. N. Popper, and R. R. Fay
Book TitleHearing by Whales and Dolphins
Series TitleSHAR Series for Auditory Reserch
ChapterCetacean Ears
CityNew York
Call NumberDRK6796
Keywordsacoustics, behavior, bioacoustics, cochlea, dolphins, echolocation, feeding behavior, inner ear, mammalian ears, mammals, marine mammals, middle ear, morphology, mysticetes, odontocetes, outer ear, reproductive behavior, social behavior, sound production, sound reception, tympano-periotic complex, vocalization

Whales and dolphins are majestic elusive, charismatic creatures that couple exceptional grace with enormous power. These features may account for much of humanity's enduring fascination with whales, but they are terrible reasons for studying their auditory systems. The principal reason whale ears are worth investigating is ... Ginger Rogers. Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire were a famous dance team. Mr. Astaire was renowned for his grace and agility. What people rarely note is that Ms. Rogers not only matched her partner step for step, she did it wearing a cumbersome gown, in high heels, and backwards. Just as Ginger kept pace with Fred but in a different orientation and with added burdens, whales hear as well as land mammals but in a different medium with special acoustic burdens.