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A whale of a find: Fossil sheds light on cetacean sonar’s origin

Posted on 25 March 2014 | 2:44 pm

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The deadly threat posed by German submarines during World War One helped spur scientists to develop sonar, using underwater sound signals to locate objects like subs that might be taking aim with a torpedo.

In the 20th century, it was an important technological breakthrough.

But it was old technology as far as whales go. These marine mammals have been using echolocation – bouncing high-frequency sounds off underwater objects – to find prey for tens of millions of years.

The fossils were unearthed near Summerville, South Carolina, outside Charleston, said College of Charleston geology professor James Carew, another of the researchers.

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