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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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Playback experiment set up.
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pone.0118468.g005: Playback experiment set up.

Mentions: The experimental setup was a visually enclosed rectangle (3m x 10m) with a border of piled straw bales (3m high) (Fig. 5). The rectangle was divided virtually into three parts: a 2m-long central zone where females were placed, and two 4m-long lateral corridors. We placed a loudspeaker (JLH-2002 Sanha) at the end of each corridor, one for the low pitched stimulus and the other one for the high pitched stimulus. Loudspeakers were monitored wireless with a M51V Asus computer. The experimenter (K.R.) stayed still in the central zone filming the subject with a HDR-XRI55E Sony camera.


Mares prefer the voices of highly fertile stallions.

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

Playback experiment set up.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

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

pone.0118468.g005: Playback experiment set up.
Mentions: The experimental setup was a visually enclosed rectangle (3m x 10m) with a border of piled straw bales (3m high) (Fig. 5). The rectangle was divided virtually into three parts: a 2m-long central zone where females were placed, and two 4m-long lateral corridors. We placed a loudspeaker (JLH-2002 Sanha) at the end of each corridor, one for the low pitched stimulus and the other one for the high pitched stimulus. Loudspeakers were monitored wireless with a M51V Asus computer. The experimenter (K.R.) stayed still in the central zone filming the subject with a HDR-XRI55E Sony camera.

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