Acoustic properties of a short-finned pilot whale head with insight into temperature influence on tissues' sound velocity

TitleAcoustic properties of a short-finned pilot whale head with insight into temperature influence on tissues' sound velocity
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsDong, Jianchen, Song Zhongchang, Li Songhai, Gong Zining, Li Kuan, Zhang Peijun, Zhang Yu, and Zhang Meng
JournalThe Journal of the Acoustical Society of America
Volume142
Pagination1901-1912
EndNote Rec Number11757
Keywordsacoustic emission,acoustic focusing,acoustic impedance,bioacoustics,biological tissues,mechanoception,underwater sound,zoology
Abstract

Acoustic properties of odontocete head tissues, including sound velocity, density, and acoustic impedance, are important parameters to understand dynamics of its echolocation. In this paper, acoustic properties of head tissues from a freshly dead short-finned pilot whale (Globicephala macrorhynchus) were reconstructed using computed tomography (CT) and ultrasound. The animal's forehead soft tissues were cut into 188 ordered samples. Sound velocity, density, and acoustic impedance of each sample were either directly measured or calculated by formula, and Hounsfield Unit values (HUs) were obtained from CT scanning. According to relationships between HUs and sound velocity, HUs and density, as well as HUs and acoustic impedance, distributions of acoustic properties in the head were reconstructed. The inner core in the melon with low-sound velocity and low-density is an evidence for its potential function of sound focusing. The increase in acoustic impedance of forehead tissues from inner core to outer layer may be important for the acoustic impedance matching between the outer layer tissue and seawater. In addition, temperature dependence of sound velocity in soft tissues was also examined. The results provide a guide to the simulation of the sound emission of the short-finned pilot whale.