The behaviour and habits of possibly the least understood group of large mammals on the planet, beaked whales, will be under the spotlight over the next few weeks as researchers from the International Fund for Animal Welfare (Ifaw) turn their attention to these mysterious creatures.
The Song of the Whale, Ifaw's research vessel, will be seeking out beaked whales in the seas around the Canary Islands.
To take a tour of the vessel, click on the links below.
Five standard PCs are used for communications, data logging and analysing the information collected from the hydrophones, the ship's underwater microphones used to monitor whales.
The hydrophones - microphones used for listening to sounds produced underwater - are placed on cables 400m long that trail behind the boat. At least one set of cables will be deployed at all times, occasionally two will be used.
A range of high and low sound frequencies can be monitored using the hydrophones, anything from 20Hz -150 kHz - the range needed to monitor all the species of whales, dolphins and porpoises that researchers follow.
Cranes or outriggers are used to keep the cables away from the boat's wake and so reduce the amount of background noise.
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