Do red deer hinds prefer stags that produce harsh roars in mate choice contexts?

Charlton, B D, Wyman, M T, Locatelli, Y, Fitch, W T and Reby, D (2014) Do red deer hinds prefer stags that produce harsh roars in mate choice contexts? Journal of Zoology, 293 (1). pp. 57-62. ISSN 09528369

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Abstract

Red deer stags give two types of roars during the breeding season, termed ‘common’ and ‘harsh’ roars. This study tested the hypothesis that the characteristic spectro-temporal structure of male harsh roars functions to directly attract females towards male callers during the breeding season. The results show that oestrous hinds look for longer towards speakers broadcasting sequences containing harsh roars, but do not preferentially approach or spend more time in close proximity to speakers broadcasting harsh roars over those broadcasting only common roars. While these observations confirm that the specific acoustic structure of male harsh roars functions to draw the attention of hinds, they are not consistent with the notion that these calls have an immediate impact on mate choice decisions by stimulating oestrous hinds to move towards male callers. Consequently, we suggest that intersexual selection through female mate choice is unlikely to be a major factor driving the evolution of male red deer harsh roars.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Psychology > Psychology
Subjects: Q Science > QL Zoology > QL0750 Animal behaviour
Depositing User: David Reby
Date Deposited: 09 Oct 2014 13:08
Last Modified: 06 Mar 2017 03:21
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/50506

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