Advertising individual identity by mother and adolescent contact calls in Siberian wapiti Cervus elaphus sibiricus

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2018
Authors:Sibiryakova, OV, Volodin, IA, Volodina, EV
Secondary Authors:Wright, J
Pagination:733 - 742
Date Published:Jan-10-2018

Individualistic contact calls facilitate mother‐offspring reunion after separation. However, in many mammals, both the acoustic structure and individuality of contact calls differ between mother and young. In contrast, in Siberian wapiti Cervus elaphus sibiricus, contact calls are similar in the acoustics between mother and young, whereas effects of this similarity on vocal individuality were not investigated. In this study, we analyzed acoustic differences between closed‐mouth (nasal) and open‐mouth (oral) contact calls and examined individuality of the most usual oral calls of 19 Siberian wapiti (9 hinds and 10 5–6‐month adolescents) emitted in response to mother‐offspring separation. In the oral calls, the values of frequency and power variables were higher than in the nasal calls. Calls of hinds and adolescents did not differ by the maximum fundamental frequency and duration, whereas the peak frequency was higher in the young. Discriminant function analysis (DFA) based on 11 acoustic variables of oral calls accurately classified to individual 92.5% of hind calls and 96.9% of adolescent calls (chi‐square test for differences between hinds and adolescents, p = 0.19). Variables mainly contributing to vocal identity (duration, start, and maximum fundamental frequency) were the same in calls of mothers and adolescents. We conclude that similarities in the acoustics calls of mothers and adolescents mean that they do not differ in their potential for encoding individual identity, suggesting a mutual process of mother‐offspring vocal recognition in Siberian wapiti.

Short Title:Ethology
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Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith