Eavesdropping on a heterospecific alarm call in the giant root-rat (Tachyorytes macrocephalus), an important prey of the Ethiopian wolf (Canis simensis)

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2019
Authors:Hrouzková, Bernasová, Šklíba
Nøkkelord:Afroalpine, Alarm, Anti-predator, eavesdropping, Mutualism, Wing whistle

The giant root-rat of the Bale Mountains, Ethiopia has been reported to have a mutualistic relationship with a passerine, which involves eavesdropping on its alarm call. We tested this in a field playback experiment. Besides the alarm call, we included two sounds potentially acting as alarm cues and one as a control. Little reaction of root-rats was detected to the bird alarm call. However, intensive reaction was detected to an alarm call of the black-clawed brush-furred rat, a social rodent often occupying root-rats’ burrows. This result is understandable given the two rodents have the same principal predator, the Ethiopian wolf.

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