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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 3 vocalization.The FM signal was emitted by a male Glaucomys volans in proximity to a female conspecific. Both animals were house separately in a room lined with sound attenuating foam at McMaster University. The signal consists of two-note vocalization with quasi-constant frequency (pure-tone) signals comprising each note. Call duration  = 14.5 ms.
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pone-0073045-g003: Oscillogram, spectrogram and magnitude spectrum of a Type 3 vocalization.The FM signal was emitted by a male Glaucomys volans in proximity to a female conspecific. Both animals were house separately in a room lined with sound attenuating foam at McMaster University. The signal consists of two-note vocalization with quasi-constant frequency (pure-tone) signals comprising each note. Call duration  = 14.5 ms.

Mentions: We recorded two examples of Type 3 vocalizations and both were emitted by a male G. volans in the presence of a female conspecific. The total duration of the Type 3 sound shown in Figure 3 was 14.5 ms and the call consisted of a two-note signal. The first note was an upward frequency modulated (FM) sweep increasing in amplitude from 55.6 to 58.5 kHz over a duration of 10 ms. The second note was a 7.5 ms narrowband, quasi-constant frequency (CF) tone of 53.7 kHz that overlapped the first note for 3 ms and continued for 4.5 ms (Fig. 3).


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 3 vocalization.The FM signal was emitted by a male Glaucomys volans in proximity to a female conspecific. Both animals were house separately in a room lined with sound attenuating foam at McMaster University. The signal consists of two-note vocalization with quasi-constant frequency (pure-tone) signals comprising each note. Call duration  = 14.5 ms.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

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

pone-0073045-g003: Oscillogram, spectrogram and magnitude spectrum of a Type 3 vocalization.The FM signal was emitted by a male Glaucomys volans in proximity to a female conspecific. Both animals were house separately in a room lined with sound attenuating foam at McMaster University. The signal consists of two-note vocalization with quasi-constant frequency (pure-tone) signals comprising each note. Call duration  = 14.5 ms.
Mentions: We recorded two examples of Type 3 vocalizations and both were emitted by a male G. volans in the presence of a female conspecific. The total duration of the Type 3 sound shown in Figure 3 was 14.5 ms and the call consisted of a two-note signal. The first note was an upward frequency modulated (FM) sweep increasing in amplitude from 55.6 to 58.5 kHz over a duration of 10 ms. The second note was a 7.5 ms narrowband, quasi-constant frequency (CF) tone of 53.7 kHz that overlapped the first note for 3 ms and continued for 4.5 ms (Fig. 3).

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