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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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Acoustic stimuli spectrograms (a) low pitch and (b) high pitch.
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pone.0118468.g004: Acoustic stimuli spectrograms (a) low pitch and (b) high pitch.

Mentions: Four whinny exemplars per stallion were used in the experiment. These exemplars were selected so that their FmaxT values were close to the corresponding stallion’s mean. During a given playback trial, a single exemplar of two whinnies (one Low pitched and one High pitched, see Fig. 4 and S1–S4 Sounds for examples) were broadcast simultaneously. Whinnies were paired so that their pitches differed but their durations matched (1948 +/- 109 ms). All whinnies were homogenized in amplitude so that they reached 70db in the centre of the experimental setup, a sound level matching natural conditions [33].


Mares prefer the voices of highly fertile stallions.

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

Acoustic stimuli spectrograms (a) low pitch and (b) high pitch.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

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

pone.0118468.g004: Acoustic stimuli spectrograms (a) low pitch and (b) high pitch.
Mentions: Four whinny exemplars per stallion were used in the experiment. These exemplars were selected so that their FmaxT values were close to the corresponding stallion’s mean. During a given playback trial, a single exemplar of two whinnies (one Low pitched and one High pitched, see Fig. 4 and S1–S4 Sounds for examples) were broadcast simultaneously. Whinnies were paired so that their pitches differed but their durations matched (1948 +/- 109 ms). All whinnies were homogenized in amplitude so that they reached 70db in the centre of the experimental setup, a sound level matching natural conditions [33].

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