Reading Nature, Observing Science: Examining Material Practices in the Lick Observatory Archives and Kenneth S. Norris Papers


Norris was a leader in early research on dolphin echolocation. Much of his early echolocation work was done during his time as founding curator at Marineland of the Pacific in Palos Verdes, California. In particular, Norris and John H. Prescott did a key echolocation experiment with Kathy, a bottlenose dolphin, which entailed placing blindfolds on Kathy and having her press a target with her nose while blindfolded. This experiment helped to prove the existence of dolphin echolocation

In his echolocation research, Norris relied on  various technologies. He used audiotapes to record sound emissions made by marine mammals, such as Baby Jean and Amiko, a short-finned pilot whale and bottlenose dolphin respectively. These audiotapes document Baby Jean and Amiko's whistles, clicks, and buzzes. Norris also took sonographs of Baby Jean and Amiko, which were used to chart various frequencies and sound emissions at specific depths. 

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