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Shipping traffic sounds drain dolphins of energy

Shipping traffic sounds drain dolphins of energy
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Trying to communicate over the sound of ship traffic and other noise sources, dolphins need to use extra energy to raise their voice and get...

New York: Trying to communicate over the sound of ship traffic and other noise sources, dolphins need to use extra energy to raise their voice and get themselves heard, says a study. While dolphins expend only slightly more energy on louder whistles or other vocalisations, the metabolic cost may add up over time when the animals must compensate for chronic background noise, the study pointed out.

The impacts could be pronounced for young, growing animals or nursing females already struggling to eat enough to maintain their energy balance, the researchers noted. Some animals also react to nearby vessels and associated noise by slapping their tails on the water or breaching -- jumping clear out of the water. That could add to the extra effort required by louder calls to further drain their energy.

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