December 8, 2015 12:32 pm

Scientists capture image of what dolphins ‘see’ with echolocation

Researchers have captured the first image "seen" by dolphins using echolocation.

SpeakDolphin.com
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Researchers have captured the first image of what dolphins see using echolocation.

Dolphins can see, but they also have a unique ability to distinguish various objects under water by using echolocation. They do this using a series of clicks which bounce off the object, giving them a sense of where the object is and its general shape.

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The researchers at SpeakDolphin created the image of what a dolphin sees using this method. Getting the image, a ghostly shape of a human, was a process that involved a few steps.

“When a dolphin scans an object with its high frequency sound beam, each short click captures a still image, similar to a camera taking photographs,” said John Reid, the inventor of the technology used, called CymaScope. “Each dolphin click is a pulse of pure sound that becomes modulated by the shape of the object.”

The researchers used recordings of these clicks, which were then used to create two-dimensional images. From there, they used 3D Systems’ program to create a three-dimensional image.

“But seeing the 3D print of a human being left us all speechless,” said Jack Kassewitz, the lead researcher and founder of SpeakDolphin.com. “Nearly every experiment is bringing us more images with more detail.”

© 2015 Shaw Media

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