DOI: 10.3390/biomimetics8040366 ISSN:

Sound Reception in the Yangtze Finless Porpoise and Its Extension to a Biomimetic Receptor

Zhongchang Song, Wenzhan Ou, Jiao Li, Chuang Zhang, Weijie Fu, Wenjie Xiang, Ding Wang, Kexiong Wang, Yu Zhang
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Biochemistry
  • Biomaterials
  • Bioengineering
  • Biotechnology

Sound reception was investigated in the Yangtze finless porpoise (Neophocaena phocaenoides asiaeorientalis) at its most sensitive frequency. The computed tomography scanning, sound speed, and density results were used to develop a three-dimensional numerical model of the porpoise sound-reception system. The acoustic fields showed that sounds can reach the ear complexes from various pathways, with distinct receptivity peaks on the forward, left, and right sides. Reception peaks were identified on the ipsilateral sides of the respective ears and found on the opposite side of the ear complexes. These opposite maxima corresponded to subsidiary hearing pathways in the whole head, especially the lower head, suggesting the complexity of the sound-reception mechanism in the porpoise. The main and subsidiary sound-reception pathways likely render the whole head a spatial receptor. The low-speed and -density mandibular fats, compared to other acoustic structures, are significant energy enhancers for strengthening forward sound reception. Based on the porpoise reception model, a biomimetic receptor was developed to achieve directional reception, and in parallel to the mandibular fats, the silicon material of low speed and density can significantly improve forward reception. This bioinspired and biomimetic model can bridge the gap between animal sonar and artificial sound control systems, which presents potential to be exploited in manmade sonar.

More from our Archive