In order to understand what diving animals such as dolphins and whales do below the sea surface, where and how deep they go and how they communicate with eachother, researchers equip them with different types of tags. Some of the tags collect, for example, information on the depth of the tagged animal, their orientation in the water column, speed and the sounds they produce.
Some toothed whales, such as the Blainville's beaked whale shown in the mural, dive to depths of 1000m or more. They use echolocation clicks to orientate themselves in this dark environment and to find their prey. To 'zoom in' on their prey item, they also produce buzzes which are a rapid succession of clicks. D-tags record the depth, orientation of the whale in the water and the sounds produced by the animal. Researchers temporarily attach these tags to the animals with suction cups and analyse the recorded data to study their behaviour at depth.
Pérez, J.M., Jensen, F.H., Rojano-Doñate, L. & Aguilar de Soto, N. 2017. Different modes of acoustic communication in deep-diving short-finned pilot whales (Globicephala macrorhynchus) Marine Mammal Science. 33, 1, p. 59-79