RIMS 2005 Field Season

Departure in Two Days

We are about to begin our third field season at the Roatan Institute for Marine Sciences (RIMS) at Anthony’s Key Resort on Roatan, Honduras. We have a group of eight volunteers joining me (Kathleen) for the week. We have exciting research planned as well. For the first time, we will record both the sender and receiver roles during a communication bout. We’ll use two recording systems at the same time. Of course, I’ll bring my array (MVA4) with its click detector (ECD). But also, I will use two MOSART tags from Christer Blomqvist and Mats Amundin of Kolmårdens Djurpark in Sweden. MOSART is short for MObile Submersible Acoustic Recording of Transients (the last because the dolphins are free-swimming). The tag is worn by the dolphin on its right pec fin in a girdle called a “pec pac”. The tag records what the wearer receives for sounds (clicks) from other dolphins. (We’ve posted two PDF files about the tag to the publications page of the DCP web site for those of you interested in learning about the details of the tags.) So, the array records the senders and the MOSART records the receivers view. Hopefully, with the more complete view that these devices afford to us, we will get an even better understanding of the signal use and social lives of dolphins. Till tomorrow, Kathleen