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Ultrasonic vocalizations emitted by flying squirrels.

Murrant MN, Bowman J, Garroway CJ, Prinzen B, Mayberry H, Faure PA - PLoS ONE (2013)

Bottom Line: We demonstrate that flying squirrels produce ultrasonic emissions through recorded bursts of broadband noise and time-frequency structured frequency modulated (FM) vocalizations, some of which were purely ultrasonic.The variety of signals that were recorded suggest that flying squirrels may use ultrasonic vocalizations to transfer information.Thus, vocalizations may be an important, although still poorly understood, aspect of flying squirrel social biology.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Environmental and Life Sciences Graduate Program, Trent University, Peterborough, Ontario, Canada.

ABSTRACT
Anecdotal reports of ultrasound use by flying squirrels have existed for decades, yet there has been little detailed analysis of their vocalizations. Here we demonstrate that two species of flying squirrel emit ultrasonic vocalizations. We recorded vocalizations from northern (Glaucomys sabrinus) and southern (G. volans) flying squirrels calling in both the laboratory and at a field site in central Ontario, Canada. We demonstrate that flying squirrels produce ultrasonic emissions through recorded bursts of broadband noise and time-frequency structured frequency modulated (FM) vocalizations, some of which were purely ultrasonic. Squirrels emitted three types of ultrasonic calls in laboratory recordings and one type in the field. The variety of signals that were recorded suggest that flying squirrels may use ultrasonic vocalizations to transfer information. Thus, vocalizations may be an important, although still poorly understood, aspect of flying squirrel social biology.

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Related in: MedlinePlus

Oscillogram, spectrogram and magnitude spectrum of a Type 1 broadband noise burst.The vocalization was emitted by a captive female Glaucomys volans calling in a room lined with sound attenuating foam at McMaster University. Call duration  = 31.29 ms; peak spectral frequency  = 65.0 kHz.
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pone-0073045-g001: Oscillogram, spectrogram and magnitude spectrum of a Type 1 broadband noise burst.The vocalization was emitted by a captive female Glaucomys volans calling in a room lined with sound attenuating foam at McMaster University. Call duration  = 31.29 ms; peak spectral frequency  = 65.0 kHz.

Mentions: The first type of vocalization that we characterized, which we refer to as Type 1, was a broadband noise burst with no time-frequency structure that had a duration of 20–40 ms and peak frequencies regularly exceeding 60 kHz (Fig. 1). These sounds were recorded in a variety of situations, including: throughout cage exploration, between feeding events, and while climbing within the cage. Broadband noise bursts were recorded both from isolated individuals and in the presence of conspecifics, and were produced by both male and female G. volans and a female G. sabrinus. Type 1 broadband noise bursts made up 95% of all vocalizations recorded in the lab (Type 1 n = 73; Type 2 n = 2; Type 3 n = 2).


Ultrasonic vocalizations emitted by flying squirrels.

Murrant MN, Bowman J, Garroway CJ, Prinzen B, Mayberry H, Faure PA - PLoS ONE (2013)

Oscillogram, spectrogram and magnitude spectrum of a Type 1 broadband noise burst.The vocalization was emitted by a captive female Glaucomys volans calling in a room lined with sound attenuating foam at McMaster University. Call duration  = 31.29 ms; peak spectral frequency  = 65.0 kHz.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3757013&req=5

pone-0073045-g001: Oscillogram, spectrogram and magnitude spectrum of a Type 1 broadband noise burst.The vocalization was emitted by a captive female Glaucomys volans calling in a room lined with sound attenuating foam at McMaster University. Call duration  = 31.29 ms; peak spectral frequency  = 65.0 kHz.
Mentions: The first type of vocalization that we characterized, which we refer to as Type 1, was a broadband noise burst with no time-frequency structure that had a duration of 20–40 ms and peak frequencies regularly exceeding 60 kHz (Fig. 1). These sounds were recorded in a variety of situations, including: throughout cage exploration, between feeding events, and while climbing within the cage. Broadband noise bursts were recorded both from isolated individuals and in the presence of conspecifics, and were produced by both male and female G. volans and a female G. sabrinus. Type 1 broadband noise bursts made up 95% of all vocalizations recorded in the lab (Type 1 n = 73; Type 2 n = 2; Type 3 n = 2).

Bottom Line: We demonstrate that flying squirrels produce ultrasonic emissions through recorded bursts of broadband noise and time-frequency structured frequency modulated (FM) vocalizations, some of which were purely ultrasonic.The variety of signals that were recorded suggest that flying squirrels may use ultrasonic vocalizations to transfer information.Thus, vocalizations may be an important, although still poorly understood, aspect of flying squirrel social biology.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Environmental and Life Sciences Graduate Program, Trent University, Peterborough, Ontario, Canada.

ABSTRACT
Anecdotal reports of ultrasound use by flying squirrels have existed for decades, yet there has been little detailed analysis of their vocalizations. Here we demonstrate that two species of flying squirrel emit ultrasonic vocalizations. We recorded vocalizations from northern (Glaucomys sabrinus) and southern (G. volans) flying squirrels calling in both the laboratory and at a field site in central Ontario, Canada. We demonstrate that flying squirrels produce ultrasonic emissions through recorded bursts of broadband noise and time-frequency structured frequency modulated (FM) vocalizations, some of which were purely ultrasonic. Squirrels emitted three types of ultrasonic calls in laboratory recordings and one type in the field. The variety of signals that were recorded suggest that flying squirrels may use ultrasonic vocalizations to transfer information. Thus, vocalizations may be an important, although still poorly understood, aspect of flying squirrel social biology.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus