Sonic Patterns II: The Animal Choruses

  • Almo Farina


Choruses are the result of contemporary vocalization of several individuals and species at a precise time of the day (dawn or dusk).

Several hypotheses have been presented in recent years. First, the beginning of the chorus activity is species specific, and this can be explained with body size and eye size.

Intrinsic factors, environmental factors, and social factors can concur in the chorus performance.

Among the several hypotheses to explain this phenomenon, the acoustic transmission hypothesis has received much credit. This hypothesis claims a more favorable condition of acoustic transmission at dawn and at dusk for a quieter atmosphere and the lowest background noise. Reduced foraging efficiency at dawn and at dusk and an excess of food storage the day before are further good arguments.

In amphibians choruses are very common, energetically costly, and occur especially during the short reproductive period. In frogs, a cooperative hypothesis according to which a chorus produces benefits in the entire population is opposed to a competitive hypothesis in which a leading caller is preferred in sexual selection.

In birds there is considerable evidence that choruses can be explained by at least two major hypotheses: an energetic hypothesis and a behavioral hypothesis. According to the first hypothesis, the choruses are performed in coincidence with a food surplus or fat reserves. The second hypothesis considers the choruses as an interactive communication between concurrent males that seem a reaction to the previous day’s vocal interactions between males.


Song Type Wood Frog Playback Experiment Fertile Period Song Rate 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Almo Farina
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Basic Sciences and FoundationsUrbino UniversityUrbinoItaly

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