The Acoustic behavior of the Brazilian Caatinga big rodent is incongruent to its actual position in Hidrochaerinae

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2021
Forfattere:Alencar-Jr, Monticellia
Journal:Behavioural Processes
Nøgleord:alarm call, Hystricognathi rodents, semi-arid, social life, vocalization

Our knowledge about the acoustic behavior of Caviinae species drove us to investigate Kerodon rupestris’s (Caviidae: Hydrochoerinae) repertoire. This species is endemic to Caatinga and states as vulnerable in the Brazilian list of endangered species. We recorded sounds uttered by individuals from Santa Luzia, State of Paraíba, Brazil. We promoted interactions among 13 animals during intra and intersexual pairing sessions, under undisturbed interactions in captivity, and in free-living conditions. We found a repertoire of 13 call types, most of them (all except three) shared with Cavia and only five possibly shared also with Hydrochoerus: (1) Close contact and cohesion: tonal and noisy contact calls, tweet, slow-whistle; (2) Social regulation (incitement, subordination or auto-defense): whine, peep-squeak, yelp; (3) Offensive aggression and status display: roar, snort, and teeth-chattering (4) Warning or intimidation: alarm-whistle, drrr, and drumming; (5) Courtship: purr and slow-whistle. The similarity of Kerodon signals to Hydrochoerinae species, despite the ecological differences, needs to be understood in comparative phylogenetic studies tracing back the origin of the courtship display in Caviidae. Thus, future research should focus on playback studies to test signals' biological function hypothesis.

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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