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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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Oscillogram, spectrogram and magnitude spectrum of a Type 2 vocalization emitted by a male Glaucomys volans in proximity to a female conspecific.Shown is one of four calls emitted in the sequence. Both animals were house separately in a room lined with sound attenuating foam at McMaster University. Note the prominent frequency (FM) and amplitude modulations (AM) in the signal, and the clear presence of harmonics. Call duration  = 135 ms.
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pone-0073045-g002: Oscillogram, spectrogram and magnitude spectrum of a Type 2 vocalization emitted by a male Glaucomys volans in proximity to a female conspecific.Shown is one of four calls emitted in the sequence. Both animals were house separately in a room lined with sound attenuating foam at McMaster University. Note the prominent frequency (FM) and amplitude modulations (AM) in the signal, and the clear presence of harmonics. Call duration  = 135 ms.

Mentions: Type 2 vocalizations consisted of a long duration signal with large amplitude modulation (AM) at the beginning of the call and a sinusoidal frequency modulation (SFM) structure. For the Type 2 call shown, the SFM changes within the fundamental acoustic element initially oscillated between about 27 and 19 kHz but eventually narrowed in SFM bandwidth (Fig. 2). These sounds were produced once in a set of three vocalizations by a female G. volans in isolation, and once in a set of four vocalizations by a male G. volans in the presence of a female conspecific (Table 1). Sounds from the set of three vocalizations were composed of a fundamental acoustic element with either zero or one overtone (harmonic) at twice the frequency of the fundamental element, whereas sounds from the set of four vocalizations had two to three overtones, each at an integer multiple of the fundamental element (Fig. 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 2 vocalization emitted by a male Glaucomys volans in proximity to a female conspecific.Shown is one of four calls emitted in the sequence. Both animals were house separately in a room lined with sound attenuating foam at McMaster University. Note the prominent frequency (FM) and amplitude modulations (AM) in the signal, and the clear presence of harmonics. Call duration  = 135 ms.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

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

pone-0073045-g002: Oscillogram, spectrogram and magnitude spectrum of a Type 2 vocalization emitted by a male Glaucomys volans in proximity to a female conspecific.Shown is one of four calls emitted in the sequence. Both animals were house separately in a room lined with sound attenuating foam at McMaster University. Note the prominent frequency (FM) and amplitude modulations (AM) in the signal, and the clear presence of harmonics. Call duration  = 135 ms.
Mentions: Type 2 vocalizations consisted of a long duration signal with large amplitude modulation (AM) at the beginning of the call and a sinusoidal frequency modulation (SFM) structure. For the Type 2 call shown, the SFM changes within the fundamental acoustic element initially oscillated between about 27 and 19 kHz but eventually narrowed in SFM bandwidth (Fig. 2). These sounds were produced once in a set of three vocalizations by a female G. volans in isolation, and once in a set of four vocalizations by a male G. volans in the presence of a female conspecific (Table 1). Sounds from the set of three vocalizations were composed of a fundamental acoustic element with either zero or one overtone (harmonic) at twice the frequency of the fundamental element, whereas sounds from the set of four vocalizations had two to three overtones, each at an integer multiple of the fundamental element (Fig. 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