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Study shows ship noise may alter dolphin communication


Israeli marine researchers have found that ship noise may significantly alter dolphins' communication patterns and navigation.

In the study, researchers from the University of Haifa recorded the sounds of common bottlenose dolphins and shipping noise in Israel's southernmost Red Sea city of Eilat.

Since the researchers could not tell different dolphin whistles, they developed algorithms to analyze them when a ship was nearby and when no ships were present.

The deep learning algorithms revealed that dolphins change their whistle sound pattern when exposed to ship noise, indicating a unique mode of communication.

The common bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus). /CFP
The common bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus). /CFP

The common bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus). /CFP

The findings have been reported in the journal Scientific Reports.

The researchers said that they don't know what unique pattern the algorithms have identified and plan to delve deeper into understanding the effects in future studies.

They noted that maritime traffic has a very strong impact on the marine environment and is a factor that motivates the migration of species.

The change in communication patterns may lead dolphins to move away from areas with increased noise levels, potentially disrupting their feeding grounds, said the researchers.

(Cover image via CFP)

Source(s): Xinhua News Agency
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