What is it about?

Infrasound is a form of low-frequency sound that is inaudible to humans but is ubiquitous in the marine environment, and is associated with wavy and windy areas. Such areas are useful to wandering albatrosses, very large seabirds that depend on winds and waves to take off into soaring flight. We investigated whether albatrosses might perceive and respond to this sound when finding their way at sea. Our results suggest albatrosses move towards 'loud' infrasound areas, which might help them seek out conditions that help them fly efficiently.

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Why is it important?

The ways in which animals find their way through the huge and relatively featureless expanse of the ocean are not well understood. Our results offer the first evidence that infrasound might be an important source of information for animals moving in these environments.

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This page is a summary of: Albatross movement suggests sensitivity to infrasound cues at sea, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, October 2023, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences,
DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2218679120.
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