Page 47 - Spring 2019
P. 47

When Heptuna first joined the Navy, he went through the  I f
standard “basic training” procedures used for all Navy dol- , _ I I ; 
phins. Exceptionally skilled trainers provided conditioning _     
and acclimation to the Hawaii environment. Heptuna was . ’ l  2 ‘ - ‘ M"
a fast learner and quickly picked up a fundamental under-  ~—<-. 3:29:49 " ‘ .4. . _
standing of visual (hand signals) and tonal sti.rnuli needed __ e _e_ e_eL_ 
for specific experiments. _ .- re: ‘'7  »  
One of the things that made Heptuna such a great experi- l '  7 _ < :_ I ‘  _:_e’e_w 
mental animal, leading to his involvement in so many ex- 1- ;_, ._e"?.__—_—T,—_~-%‘__.‘.r._«.;-?‘e'~A"-"~7e3  R
perirnents, was that he had a great memory of past experi- Z’  3 e _ 2
mental procedures and response paradigms. Heptuna also __  F7 , '
had awillingness to work with the experimenter to figure out 
what he was supposed to learn. Sometimes, for the less expe- V _ e.’ __e,\_ea~_ _ee;_.ee_ A‘ - "”."""
rienced investigator, Heptuna would teach the experimenter. ' _ I A V  I V '  \ \
’ ' —:=.:~‘:xe:,;,—-.‘i“‘4'7-': - - " ‘

After initial training, Heptuna’: first research project was a _ 3.. ""_'~i:‘:j:‘:‘ :':,  I’ ’ ' “‘\‘._
study of sound source localization by University of Hawaii _ _' V” V " 4: V t ’ » ’
zoology graduate student, Donna McDonald (later Donna '- " g I k ' "F
McDonald Renaud;‘ Figure 2). Donna’s mentor, Dr. Arthur l V
Popper, had not worked with dolphins, but he knew a few ‘ e _ _ _ __
People ee ehe NUCA He eeeehed em ‘O the‘ group) end they Figure 2. Heptuna: pen for training In Kuneohe Buy, Hawaii. The
were inmgued by the idee of working Wm] e deemeel sm_ speakers for the sound Ieeaiteanan me at the far burs and the bite bar
dent‘ Dome, Are end ehe leedeeehip ee ‘he NUC decided to which-Heptuna held on 15 m the center oefthefirstcrossl bur. Equip
that a sound localization study would be of greatest interest me” '5 m the Shark‘ and_D'mM Renaud '5 5”" Pmplmng to th_mw
beeeese no one bed esked if end how well dolphins Could food to Heptuna. inset: picture ofDormu from .1930, kindly provided
localize sound (though it was assumed that they could deter- by he’ husband Maurice" Dunn“ Passed away m 1991'
mine the location of the sound source).
Donna was trained by Ralph Penner, the extraordinary head . r .
trainer at the NUC and Heptuna’s first trainer. Donna and  ..
Ralph first trained Heptuna to swim to a bite bar (a task ’
he would use in many subsequent studies; Figure 2), hold ’ . ~.  _,.,
his head still, and listen for a sound that came from distant / ._ ~“~ , ‘ i
underwater speakers. Heptuna had to discriminate sounds ' .e _‘ ‘ _
coming from his right or left as the speakers were moved ' . . J A ' _ \
closer together. The goal was to determine the minimal angle “' 'v‘ - = “"' 7
between the speakers that could be discriminated (MAA). As “_ .e v
soon as Heptuna determined the position of the source, he . " '
would swim to a response point on the left or right (Figure A '
3). If he was correct, Donna would reward him with food. ( '
Heptuna quickly picked up the task and for more than two Figure 3. Heptuna hitting the response paddle, ca. 1972. These were
years gave Donna interesting data that examined sound lo- the days before many electronics, so the trainer had to see what the
calization abilities for different frequencies and sounds (Re- animal did and then reward him immediately.
‘This article ii dedicated to the memory ofDr. Donna McDonald Renaud
(1944-1991), the fin! investigator to do research with Heptuna.

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