Ontogeny of sounds in the echolocating batHipposideros speoris
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YoungHipposideros speoris emit multiharmonic sounds in groups of three to four notes. Newborns emit a relatively uniform pattern of FM- and FM/CF/FM-sounds. From ten days of age onwards the initial sound (first note) of a group is a FM-sound whereas the successive ones are CF/FM-sounds of consistently higher frequencies. At prevolant and volant stages of the bat's development most of the sound energy is concentrated in the second harmonic which is raised to the frequency range of the adults' CF/FM-sounds (127–138 kHz). Subsequently other harmonics disappear.
Harmonic components are suppressed or filtered out when they fall in a frequency range of approximately 65–75 kHz. This was found for bats of different ages regardless which fundamental frequency the suppressed harmonic components corresponded to, indicating a mechanical filtering process. These measurements coincide with the absence of the first harmonics in the same frequency range in the sounds of adults.
Temporal sound emission patterns were measured for bats of different ages. There was an increase in sound duration and an increase in the number of sounds (notes) per group as the bat matured to adulthood.
The sound emission of juveniles aids mothers in finding their young ones. Mothers located their infants even when the juveniles were displaced far from where they were left behind by their mothers. Behavioral experiments under both natural and captive conditions showed that the sound emission of young ones attracts mothers but do not give sufficient cues to allow the mother to discriminate their own from a group of young.
The ontogeny of the two types of sounds (CF/FM and complex harmonic FM) of adultHipposideros speoris is discussed and compared with the vocalisations of other bat species.
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