A review of frequency and time parameters of cetacean tonal calls

J.N. Mathews, L.E. Rendall, J.C.D. Gordon & D.W. Macdonald (1999). A review of frequency and time parameters of cetacean tonal calls. Bioacoustics, Volume 10 (1): 47 -71

Properties of the tonal calls of cetaceans are summarised and compared at the species level. Statistics are presented relating to start, end, minimum, maximum and centre frequencies, duration and number of inflections, together with information about recordings (location, number encounters/groups, length of recordings). Evidence of a linear relation between body-size and wavelength is given for odontocetes (R2 between 0.68 and 0.93, depending on frequency variable and least-squares method) but the relationship does not appear to fit well for mysticetes (R2 = 0.64). Results of preliminary investigations into acoustic discrimination of species by multivariate methods ate also presented: a simple classifier for 10 species based on results derived from the literature gave a correct classification rate of 28% when tested with independent data. Some methodological recommendations for future descriptive work on cetacean acoustics are made.


cetaceans, acoustics, tonal, classification, body-size