Vocal cues to identity and relatedness in giant pandas (Ailuropoda melanoleuca)

Charlton, Benjamin D, Zhihe, Zhang and Snyder, Rebecca J (2009) Vocal cues to identity and relatedness in giant pandas (Ailuropoda melanoleuca). Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 126 (5). pp. 2721-2732. ISSN 0001-4966

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Abstract

A range of acoustic characteristics typically carry information on individual identity in mammalian calls. In addition, physical similarities in vocal production anatomy among closely related individuals may result in similarities in the acoustic structure of vocalizations. Here, acoustic analyses based on source-filter theory were used to determine whether giant panda bleats are individually distinctive, to investigate the relative importance of different source-(larynx) and filter-(vocal tract) related acoustic features for coding individuality, and to test whether closely related individuals have similarities in call structure. The results revealed that giant panda bleats are highly individualized and indicate that source-related features, in particular, mean fundamental frequency, amplitude variation per second, and the mean extent of each amplitude modulation, contribute the most to vocal identity. In addition, although individual pairwise relatedness was not correlated with overall acoustic similarity, it was highly correlated with amplitude modulation rate and fundamental frequency range, suggesting that these acoustic features are heritable components of giant panda bleats that could be used as a measure of genetic relatedness. The ecological relevance of acoustically signaling information on caller identity and the potential practical implications for acoustic monitoring of population levels in this endangered species are
discussed

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Psychology > Psychology
Subjects: Q Science > QL Zoology > QL0750 Animal behaviour
Depositing User: Benjamin Charlton
Date Deposited: 14 Nov 2012 11:16
Last Modified: 14 Nov 2012 11:16
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/41876
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