Whale Echolocation

Whale echolocation is amazing.

Like the echolocation in other animals such as bats, it means sending sounds and waiting for echoes, just like in a sonar.

The timing and intensity of sound received tells the animal about any objects nearby it, and other information about its surroundings.

In water, where it is not always easy to see, hearing becomes an important sense and echolocation is a particularly handy way both for navigation and for finding out about other objects nearby such as food or predators.

Baleen Whales

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It is not known whether baleen whales do echolocate. It is widely believed they do not, however some scientists believe they may.

Baleen whales use sounds differently from toothed whales.

They sing to communicate, and for navigation, it is believed they use the Earth's magnetic field which they can sense.

Toothed Whales

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Toothed whales use echolocation both for finding out about their surroundings, and for navigation (however they don't move as long distances as do baleen whales).

Dolphins send out series of clicks and the echoes are received by their inner ears. Other toothed whales, such as Sperm Whales, send individual clicks.

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