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The information that receivers extract from alarm calls in suricates.


Manser, M B; Bell, M B; Fletcher, L B (2001). The information that receivers extract from alarm calls in suricates. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 268(1484):2485-2491.

Abstract

Field observations and acoustic analyses have shown that suricate (Suricata suricatta) alarm calls vary in their acoustic structure depending on predator type. In this study, we tested whether receivers respond appropriately when hearing a call in the absence of a predator. Although the only way for suricates to escape from predators is to retreat to boltholes, responses to playbacks could be divided into distinct categories. The subjects responded differently to alarm calls given in response to aerial or terrestrial predators and to recruitment calls emitted in response to snakes and deposits on the ground. Suricates also showed rather distinct responses to low, medium and high urgency aerial calls. Differences in the responses were less obvious for different levels of urgency in the terrestrial and recruitment calls. Suricate receivers thus gain information about both the predator type and level of urgency from the acoustic structures of their calls.

Abstract

Field observations and acoustic analyses have shown that suricate (Suricata suricatta) alarm calls vary in their acoustic structure depending on predator type. In this study, we tested whether receivers respond appropriately when hearing a call in the absence of a predator. Although the only way for suricates to escape from predators is to retreat to boltholes, responses to playbacks could be divided into distinct categories. The subjects responded differently to alarm calls given in response to aerial or terrestrial predators and to recruitment calls emitted in response to snakes and deposits on the ground. Suricates also showed rather distinct responses to low, medium and high urgency aerial calls. Differences in the responses were less obvious for different levels of urgency in the terrestrial and recruitment calls. Suricate receivers thus gain information about both the predator type and level of urgency from the acoustic structures of their calls.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
590 Animals (Zoology)
Language:English
Date:2001
Deposited On:11 Feb 2008 12:13
Last Modified:06 Dec 2017 12:40
Publisher:Royal Society of London
ISSN:0962-8452
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2001.1772
PubMed ID:11747568

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