Effect of Angle on Flow-Induced Vibrations of Pinniped Vibrissae…
Effect of Angle on Flow-Induced Vibrations of Pinniped Vibrissae
Pacific Harbor Seal
Northern Elephant Seal
California Sea Lion
Perception of environment
Assists in searching for prey
Detection of predators
Modifies noisy habitat
About 9 whiskers each from Pacific Harbor Seal, Northern Elephant Seal, & California Sea Lion
Obtain individual whiskers from 9 dead Pacific Harbor Seals, 8 dead Northern Elephant Seals, and 9 dead California Sea Lions.
Measure the whiskers to ensure they are of equal average length.
Separate each whisker and attach one whisker to one sting apparatus that would position the whisker in the middle of a water-filled flume tank.
Target each whisker with a laser vibrometer in frequencies ranging from 0 to 600 Hertz and a velocity extending from -0.4 to 0.4 meters per second.
Suspend the whiskers of the three pinniped species in a water-filled flume tank at three different orientations: zero degrees, 45 degrees, and 90 degrees and expose them to various vibration frequencies and velocity ranges.
Supported the hypothesis by demonstrating that all three species-specific whiskers responded highly to vibrations at the zero degree orientation, less at the 45 degree orientation, and the least at a 90 degree orientation. Emphasized the significant role whiskers play in the survival of marine mammals, specifically pinnipeds.
Marine mammal species that have whiskers not precisely oriented at a zero degree angle have smaller chances of survival than those species whose whiskers are oriented at zero degrees.
Possible explanations for any deviations found in the data could include statistical error and not considering the influence of other factors like water chemistry and hydrodynamics.
Advanced oceanographic and lab technology in the future could also lead to more accurate results.
More research is needed to establish a thorough understanding of how whiskers shape the lives of other marine mammals. Applications of whisker physiology could prove useful in the development and improvement of sonar systems and prediction models.
If waterborne vibrations are directed in an approximately straight current and are the most highly detected by pinniped whiskers at perpendicular angles, then the pinniped whiskers will orient at a zero degree angle position if vibrations were concentrated at a 90 degree angle.
Provides further information on the nature of whiskers and their behavioral effect on aquatic mammals, specifically in pinnipeds, which are not well known.