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Acoustic structure and individual variation of grey seal (Halichoerus grypus) pup calls
Caudron, A.K.; Kondakov, A.A.; Siryanov, S.V. (1998). Acoustic structure and individual variation of grey seal (Halichoerus grypus) pup calls. J. Mar. Biol. Ass. U.K. 78(2): 651-658
In: Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. Cambridge University Press/Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom: Cambridge. ISSN 0025-3154, more
Peer reviewed article  

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  • Caudron, A.K., more
  • Kondakov, A.A.
  • Siryanov, S.V.

    Throughout lactation, pups of pinnipeds regularly vocalize, including during interactions with their mother. In all studied species of otariids and in some phocids, these calls exhibit sufficient acoustic variation for individual recognition. As female grey seals Halichoerus grypus (Pinnipedia: Phocidae) often pup in dense colonies, and regularly leave their offspring alone to go to sea, the selective pressure for mutual vocal recognition between mothers and pups could be high. To investigate call variation in pups of this species, 170 calls of ten individual pups were analysed. Out of seven acoustic features studied, location of maximum signal strength, the number of harmonics and the frequency and strength of the fundamental show the highest individuality. However, the apparent infrequent use of pup calls during mother-pup reunions suggests that vocal signals may not play the major role in pup discrimination by female grey seals, as observed in other phocids which females do not vocalize to their pup.

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