About the project

The project "Hearing in Penguins" is a research project at the German Oceanographic Museum in Stralsund in cooperation with the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin, the Marine Science Center in Rostock and the University of Southern Denmark. Within the project, penguins of various species are trained to examine how well the animals can hear above and below water. In addition, morphological studies are carried out on penguin skulls and digital content on underwater acoustics is created to accompany the investigations.

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Aim of the project

The results of the project help to improve the knowledge about the hearing abilities of penguins. It is known that penguins can hear the calls of their conspecifics, but how well they can hear other sounds in air and under water has not yet been sufficiently researched. However, the natural habitat of penguins is increasingly exposed to human activity from shipping, seabed surveys and other interventions. In order to be able to estimate the effects of the increasing background noise on marine life, it is essential to know how the animals react to underwater noise. In particular, the influence of underwater anthropogenic noise on diving seabirds such as penguins has been little investigated so far. These research results are essential to establish possible protective measures for marine life.

The project "Hearing in Penguins" is funded by the German Environment Agency (UBA) with means from the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU).