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Postcopulatory vocalizations of fallow bucks: who is listening?


McElligott, A G; Hayden, T J (2001). Postcopulatory vocalizations of fallow bucks: who is listening? Behavioral Ecology, 12(1):41-46.

Abstract

Fallow bucks (Dama dama) produce a postcopulatory vocalization (PCV), consisting of an increase in the short-term groaning rate during the first min after mating. In this article, we consider two main hypotheses to assess the possible function of the postcopulatory vocalization. First, the PCV could be directed at females, and used to advertise the current fertility status of the male. Second, the PCV could be directed at males, and used to transmit an intrasexual threat signal. We found that during days when a male gained many matings, his PCVs did not decline, and males with larger intervals between matings did not produce higher PCVs. Lower PCVs were not associated with infertile matings, and for females that mated twice within the same estrus, the PCVs of their first matings were not lower than other PCVs. In addition, higher PCVs were not associated with shorter intervals to a male's next mating. Thus, there was no evidence to suggest that the PCV was involved in transmitting a signal of fertility assurance, either to females that had mated, or to those that were about to mate. We found that PCVs declined as males reached the end of their mating success, therefore suggesting that PCVs are more likely to be involved in transmitting an intrasexual threat signal related to current condition and/or motivation. We suggest that this signal is probably involved in mate guarding.

Fallow bucks (Dama dama) produce a postcopulatory vocalization (PCV), consisting of an increase in the short-term groaning rate during the first min after mating. In this article, we consider two main hypotheses to assess the possible function of the postcopulatory vocalization. First, the PCV could be directed at females, and used to advertise the current fertility status of the male. Second, the PCV could be directed at males, and used to transmit an intrasexual threat signal. We found that during days when a male gained many matings, his PCVs did not decline, and males with larger intervals between matings did not produce higher PCVs. Lower PCVs were not associated with infertile matings, and for females that mated twice within the same estrus, the PCVs of their first matings were not lower than other PCVs. In addition, higher PCVs were not associated with shorter intervals to a male's next mating. Thus, there was no evidence to suggest that the PCV was involved in transmitting a signal of fertility assurance, either to females that had mated, or to those that were about to mate. We found that PCVs declined as males reached the end of their mating success, therefore suggesting that PCVs are more likely to be involved in transmitting an intrasexual threat signal related to current condition and/or motivation. We suggest that this signal is probably involved in mate guarding.

Citations

19 citations in Web of Science®
18 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Zoology (former)
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
590 Animals (Zoology)
Language:English
Date:2001
Deposited On:11 Feb 2008 12:15
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 12:14
Publisher:Oxford University Press
ISSN:1045-2249
Related URLs:http://beheco.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/12/1/41

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