As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Monday, 5 June 2017

New discovery: Cormorants can hear under water

Date: May 31, 2017
Source: University of Southern Denmark

For the first time, researchers have shown that a marine birds can hear under water. This offers new possibilities for the protection of marine birds in trafficked waters. Seals, whales and other marine animals can hear under water. The cormorant also has this ability, which new research from University of Southern Denmark (SDU) shows.

According to the biologists it makes good sense, that cormorants can hear under water -- the environment where it finds most of its food.

About every tenth bird species -- ca. 800 species -- in the world hunts under water, and it may turn out that they too can also hear under water.

The sound of fish

Researchers Kirstin Anderson Hansen, Alyssa Maxwell, Ursula Siebert, Ole Næsbye Larsen and Magnus Wahlberg from the Department of Biology at University of Southern Denmark have tested the cormorant, Loke's, hearing. Loke lives at SDU's marine biology research station in the Danish town Kerteminde.

"Hearing under water must be a very useful sense for cormorants. They depend on being able to find food, even if the water is not clear, or if they live in the Arctic regions where it is dark for long periods at a time," says Kirstin Hansen, Ph.D.

Loke's hearing abilities are on a par with the hearing of the toothed whale and the seal.
 

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