Skip to main content
SLU publication database (SLUpub)
Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2016

In-air and underwater hearing in the great cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo sinensis)

Johansen, Sasia; Larsen, Ole Naesbye; Christensen-Dalsgaard, Jakob; Seidelin, Lars; Huulvej, Tina; Jensen, Kristine; Lunneryd, Sven-Gunnar; Bostrom, Maria; Wahlberg, Magnus


Hearing thresholds of a great cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo) were measured in air and under water using psychophysics. The lowest thresholds were at 2 kHz (45 dB re 20 mu Pa root-mean-square [rms] in air and 79 dB re 1 mu Pa rms in water). Auditory brainstem response measurements on one anesthetized bird in air indicated an audiogram with a shape that resembled the one achieved by psychophysics. This study suggests that cormorants have rather poor in-air hearing abilities compared with other similar-size birds. The hearing capabilities in water are better than what would have been expected for a purely in-air adapted ear.


Phalacrocorax carbo sinensis; Underwater hearing; Psychophysical measurements; Auditory brainstem response; Playback

Published in

Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology
2016, Volume: 875, number: 875, pages: 505-512
Title: Effects of Noise on Aquatic Life II
ISBN: 978-1-4939-2980-1, eISBN: 978-1-4939-2981-8
Publisher: Springer