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Mares prefer the voices of highly fertile stallions.

Lemasson A, Remeuf K, Trabalon M, Cuir F, Hausberger M - PLoS ONE (2015)

Bottom Line: Females from three study groups preferred playbacks of low-pitched voices.More work is needed to explore the relative importance of morpho-physiological features.Assortative mating may be involved as large females preferred voices of larger stallions.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Université de Rennes 1, Laboratoire d'éthologie animale et humaine, UMR 6552- C.N.R.S., Paimpont, France; Institut Universitaire de France, Paris, France.

ABSTRACT
We investigated the possibility that stallion whinnies, known to encode caller size, also encoded information about caller arousal and fertility, and the reactions of mares in relation to type of voice. Voice acoustic features are correlated with arousal and reproduction success, the lower-pitched the stallion's voice, the slower his heart beat and the higher his fertility. Females from three study groups preferred playbacks of low-pitched voices. Hence, females are attracted by frequencies encoding for large male size, calmness and high fertility. More work is needed to explore the relative importance of morpho-physiological features. Assortative mating may be involved as large females preferred voices of larger stallions. Our study contributes to basic and applied ongoing research on mammal reproduction, and questions the mechanisms used by females to detect males' fertility.

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Correlation between voice frequencies in relation to (a) heart beat rates (P = 0.03) and (b) fertility scores (P = 0.002).
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pone.0118468.g002: Correlation between voice frequencies in relation to (a) heart beat rates (P = 0.03) and (b) fertility scores (P = 0.002).

Mentions: Acoustic parameters were correlated with heart beat rates and fertility, but with no other physiological parameter (Table 4). The most important parameter appeared to be the pitch of the stallion’s voice. The lower-pitched the stallion’s voice, the slower its heart beat (positive correlations: FmaxT/HB5s, Fmax2/HB5s, F01/HB10m, Fb2/HB10m; Fig. 2a), and the higher its fertility (negative correlations: FmaxT/IS and SS, F01/IS, Fmax1/IS and SS, Fmax2/IS and SS; Fig. 2b). One temporal acoustic parameter was also correlated with physiology: the higher the number of repeated units in the climax (Fig. 3), the slower the heart beat (NBU2/HB5s).


Mares prefer the voices of highly fertile stallions.

Lemasson A, Remeuf K, Trabalon M, Cuir F, Hausberger M - PLoS ONE (2015)

Correlation between voice frequencies in relation to (a) heart beat rates (P = 0.03) and (b) fertility scores (P = 0.002).
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4340864&req=5

pone.0118468.g002: Correlation between voice frequencies in relation to (a) heart beat rates (P = 0.03) and (b) fertility scores (P = 0.002).
Mentions: Acoustic parameters were correlated with heart beat rates and fertility, but with no other physiological parameter (Table 4). The most important parameter appeared to be the pitch of the stallion’s voice. The lower-pitched the stallion’s voice, the slower its heart beat (positive correlations: FmaxT/HB5s, Fmax2/HB5s, F01/HB10m, Fb2/HB10m; Fig. 2a), and the higher its fertility (negative correlations: FmaxT/IS and SS, F01/IS, Fmax1/IS and SS, Fmax2/IS and SS; Fig. 2b). One temporal acoustic parameter was also correlated with physiology: the higher the number of repeated units in the climax (Fig. 3), the slower the heart beat (NBU2/HB5s).

Bottom Line: Females from three study groups preferred playbacks of low-pitched voices.More work is needed to explore the relative importance of morpho-physiological features.Assortative mating may be involved as large females preferred voices of larger stallions.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Université de Rennes 1, Laboratoire d'éthologie animale et humaine, UMR 6552- C.N.R.S., Paimpont, France; Institut Universitaire de France, Paris, France.

ABSTRACT
We investigated the possibility that stallion whinnies, known to encode caller size, also encoded information about caller arousal and fertility, and the reactions of mares in relation to type of voice. Voice acoustic features are correlated with arousal and reproduction success, the lower-pitched the stallion's voice, the slower his heart beat and the higher his fertility. Females from three study groups preferred playbacks of low-pitched voices. Hence, females are attracted by frequencies encoding for large male size, calmness and high fertility. More work is needed to explore the relative importance of morpho-physiological features. Assortative mating may be involved as large females preferred voices of larger stallions. Our study contributes to basic and applied ongoing research on mammal reproduction, and questions the mechanisms used by females to detect males' fertility.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus