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Mote Marine Lab Publishes Study on Manatee Hearing

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Source: "Mote Insider" Newsletter

A new study on manatee hearing by Mote Marine Laboratory and collaborators shows that these marine mammals can sense a wide range of pitches despite loud background noise.

The study, published last week in the peer-reviewed Journal of Experimental Biology, demonstrates that manatees can hear frequencies produced by boat engines, pointing to new questions about how manatee hearing operates in the wild and why these mammals remain vulnerable to watercraft.

The study tested the hearing abilities of Mote’s resident manatees, Buffett and Hugh — the world’s only manatees trained to participate in behavioral research and husbandry (animal care) procedures.

The project was led by Mote’s manatee care, training and research coordinator Joseph Gaspard III in collaboration with a team of scientists who do ongoing sensory studies with Hugh and Buffett: Mote adjunct scientists Dr. Gordon Bauer, professor at New College of Florida, and University of South Florida professor Dr. David Mann, along with University of Florida professor Dr. Roger Reep. Collaborators also included the manatee training staff at Mote Aquarium.

Additional Contact Information

Mote Marine Laboratory

1600 Ken Thompson Parkway
Sarasota, FL - 34236

(941) 388-4441