Biosonar pp 107-141 | Cite as

Sound Intensities of Biosonar Signals from Bats and Toothed Whales

Part of the Springer Handbook of Auditory Research book series (SHAR, volume 51)


The signals emitted by echolocating bats and toothed whales can be of very impressive intensity. Actually, some of the most intense vocalizations of any mammal is found in the echolocation calls of bats and whales. Here we collect the known literature of so-called source levels (the sound intensity measured at a reference distance in front of the animal) of echolocation signals. This information is discussed in relation to the dynamics of the sound production of echolocation signals when the animal is maneuvering around different kinds of objects. Also, by implementing different strategies on the receiver (hearing) side of the echolocation system the different strategies when approaching a target found in nature may be at least in part explained by the acoustic environment. Also, some prey species can detect the signals from the approaching predator. This makes it interesting to investigate the behavior of prey species that can detect ultrasound and how such prey can change the echolocation strategy of the pursuing predator.


Acoustic localization Automatic gain control Echolocation Hearing sensitivity Hydrophone array Microchiroptera Odontocetes Source level Transmission loss 



We thank Lee Miller, Paul Nachtigall, Arthur Popper, and Lutz Wiegrebe for comments on previous drafts of this chapter.


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© Springer-Verlag New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Fjord & Bælt and Department of BiologyUniversity of Southern Denmark, Marine Biological Research CenterKertemindeDenmark
  2. 2.Department of BiologyUniversity of Southern DenmarkOdense MDenmark

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