Animal Cognition

, Volume 17, Issue 2, pp 349–357 | Cite as

Vocal group signatures in the goitred gazelle Gazella subgutturosa

  • Ilya A. VolodinEmail author
  • Elena V. Volodina
  • Ekaterina N. Lapshina
  • Kseniya O. Efremova
  • Natalia V. Soldatova
Original Paper


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.


Mammal 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).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ilya A. Volodin
    • 1
    Email author
  • Elena V. Volodina
    • 2
  • Ekaterina N. Lapshina
    • 1
  • Kseniya O. Efremova
    • 1
  • Natalia V. Soldatova
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Faculty of BiologyLomonosov Moscow State UniversityMoscowRussia
  2. 2.Scientific Research DepartmentMoscowRussia
  3. 3.Ecocenter “Djeiran”BukharaRepublic of Uzbekistan

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