Sound plays a crucial role in marine mammal ecology, and has led numerous species to evolve a diverse vocal repertoire (Dudzinski & Gregg, 2017; Winn & Schneider, 1977). Nonvocal auditory behaviors like flipper slaps and breaches are also important, but more limited in scope and thought to occur mostly at the surface of the water (Würsig & Whitehead, 2017). Here, we report a novel type of percussive signaling in wild gray seals (Halichoerus grypus), which demonstrates that nonvocal auditory behaviors may also be produced entirely underwater.
Hocking, D. P., Burville, B., Parker, W., Evans, A. R., Park, T., & Marx, F. G. (2020). Percussive underwater signaling in wild gray seals. Marine Mammal Science, 36(2), 728-732. https://doi.org/10.1111/mms.12666