The underwater hearing sensitivity of an 18-year-old male Pacific walrus was measured in a pool by using a go/no-go response paradigm and the up-down staircase method. Auditory sensitivity was measured using narrow-band, frequency-modulated signals (1500 ms duration) with center frequencies ranging from 0.125 to 15 kHz. The resulting underwater audiogram (50 The range of best hearing (10 dB from the maximum sensitivity) was from 1 to 12 kHz. Sensitivity fell gradually below 1 kHz and dropped off sharply above 12 kHz. The animal showed a peculiar insensitivity for 2 kHz signals. His much higher sensitivity for 1.5- and 3-kHz signals indicated that this is a narrow-band phenomenon. Walrus hearing is relatively sensitive to low frequency sound, thus the species is likely to be susceptible to anthropogenic noise. The thresholds found during a small test with four frequencies with signal durations of 300 ms did not differ significantly from those obtained with signal durations of 1500 ms.
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