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Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Examining Beluga Whale

Caption: Enabled by recent advances in portable field testing equipment, rugged enough for field work, the researchers worked over a two week period in southwest Alaska during the summer of 2012, capturing and testing seven Bristol Bay beluga whales. To conduct their hearing tests, the team temporarily captured individual animals as part of physical health exams. They used suction cups to attach a small speaker to its jaw -- which in whales and dolphins conducts sound to both ears -- and placed sensors on the animal's head and back and then recorded its brain's response to the sound. (NMFS permit number 14245)

Credit: Courtesy of Aran Mooney/WHOI

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Related news release: Scientists test hearing in Bristol Bay beluga whale population

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