Bioacoustics is the study of the production, transmission, and reception of animal sounds. This includes not only the vocalizations of animals such as birds and mammals but also the sounds that can be produced by insects.
Listening remains one of the most methods utilized in bioacoustical research. Neurophysiological processes play an important role in the production, detection, and interpretation of sounds in animals, so animal behavior and therefore the signals themselves are used for gaining insight into these processes.
1. Acoustic signals: An experienced observer can use animal sounds to acknowledge a "singing" animal species, its location, and condition in nature. Investigation of animal sounds also includes signal recording with the electronic recorder. Due to the wide range of signal properties and media they propagate through, specialized equipment could also be required rather than the standard microphone, like a hydrophone (for underwater sounds), detectors of ultrasound (very high-frequency sounds) or infrasound (very low-frequency sounds), or a laser vibrometer (substrate-borne vibrational signals). Computers are used for storing and analysis of recorded sounds. Specialized sound-editing software is employed for describing and sorting signals consistent with their intensity, frequency, duration, and other parameters.
2. Sound production, detection, and use in animals: Scientists in the field of bioacoustics are interested in the anatomy and neurophysiology of organs involved in sound production and detection, including their shape, muscle action, and activity of neuronal networks involved. Of special interest is the coding of signals with action potentials in the latter.
3. Biomass estimation: Biomass estimation is a method of detecting and quantifying fish and other marine organisms using sonar technology. As the sound pulse travels through water it encounters objects that are of various densities than the encompassing medium, like fish, that reflect sound back toward the sound source. These echoes provide information on fish size, location, and abundance.