Vocal group signatures in the goitred gazelle Gazella subgutturosa
The potential for vocal modification in mammals has recently been of great interest. This study focuses on the potential for vocal matching in juvenile and adolescent goitred gazelles Gazella subgutturosa that were group housed as part of an animal management programme. Two groups of animals (16 and 19 unrelated individuals, respectively) were recorded at two different ages, juvenile and adolescent, regarding 20–25 calls per individual per age; each group was evaluated in a separate year. Vocal similarity of group members compared to non-members was prominent in both ages, but higher in juveniles. Individual identity was prominent in both ages and higher in adolescents. The more prominent vocal indicators of group membership in juveniles could be related to their higher social dependence compared to adolescents. The more individualized calls of adolescents could be a mechanistic consequence of more stable growth at older age. Our results suggest vocal plasticity of goitred gazelles under social influences. These data add to recent evidence about domestic goat kids Capra hircus, suggesting that vocalizations of species that are not capable of imitation are more flexible than previously thought.
KeywordsMammal Ungulate Vocal communication Vocal development Social effects Production vocal learning
We thank the staff of the Djeiran Ecocenter for help and support and V. Matrosova for assistance with data collection. We thank R. Frey for help with the anatomical background for establishing formant settings and O. Sibiryakova for help with analysis of literature. We thank V. Ivanitsky, I. Marova and especially O. Filatova for help with statistics. We thank two anonymous reviewers for their valuable and encouraging comments. The study was supported by the Russian Foundation for Basic Research, Grant 12-04-00260a (for IV, EV, EL and KE).
- Boersma P, Weenink D (2009) Praat: doing phonetics by computer. http://www.praat.org/
- Kingswood SC, Blank DA (1996) Gazella subgutturosa. Mammalian species 518:1–10Google Scholar
- Kruchenkova EP (2009) Maternal behaviour of mammals. Krasand, Moscow (in Russian)Google Scholar
- Lingle S, Wyman MT, Kotrba R, Teichroeb LJ, Romanow CA (2012) What makes a cry a cry? A review of infant distress vocalizations. Curr Zool 58:698–726Google Scholar
- Pereladova OB, Pereladov SV (1986) Reproduction of goitred gazelles in enclosures of Sunt-Hasargag Natural Reserve. In: Flint V (ed) Protection and perspectives of restoring population of goitred gazelles in USSR. VNIIPriroda, Moscow, pp 49–59Google Scholar
- Pereladova OB, Bahloul K, Sempere AJ, Soldatova NV, Schadilov UM, Prisiadznuk VE (1998) Influence of environmental factors on a population of goitred gazelles (Gazella subgutturosa subgutturosa Guldenstaedt, 1780) in semi-wild conditions in an arid environment: a preliminary study. J Arid Environ 39:577–591CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- R Development Core Team (2009) R foundation for statistical computing. R foundation for statistical computing, Vienna. http://www.R-project.org
- Schusterman RJ (2008) Vocal learning in mammals with special emphasis on pinnipeds. In: Oller DK, Gribel U (eds) The evolution of communicative flexibility: complexity, creativity, and adaptability in human and animal communication. MIT Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, pp 41–70CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Soldatova NV (1983) To behaviour of goitred gazelles in Bukhara breeding centre. In: Flint V (ed) Ecology of plants and animals of natural reserves of Uzbekistan. Fan, Tashkent, pp 86–90 (in Russian)Google Scholar
- Soldatova N, Juldashev E, Volodin I, Volodina E, Efremova K, Lapshina E (2010) Keeping, raising and body mass dynamics of the goitred gazelle calves (Gazella subgutturosa) in captivity. Sci Res Zool Parks 26:64–71 (in Russian)Google Scholar