Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

Sources of variation in the long-distance vocalizations of spotted hyenas

No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
The full text of this article is not currently available.

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this article

+ Tax (if applicable)
Add to Favorites
You must be logged in to use this functionality

image of Behaviour

It has long been recognized that vocal signals communicate information about the age, sex and affective state of callers. However, the mechanisms by which these types of information are communicated are less well understood. Here we investigated variation in the acoustic properties of the long-distance vocalizations, called 'whoops', emitted by free-living spotted hyenas, Crocuta crocuta. Specifically we investigated whether the fundamental frequency, length and rate of whoops provide information about the caller's age, sex and/or level of arousal. We determined the latter by contrasting whoops emitted spontaneously with whoops emitted during periods of social excitement, when callers typically also exhibited visual signals associated with heightened arousal. We found that the minimum fundamental frequency of a whoop provides reliable information about the caller's general age and, for adult callers, information about sex as well. The vast majority of adult male whoop bouts were emitted spontaneously, but juveniles and adult females produced many of their bouts during periods of social excitement. Although context did not significantly affect the whoop bouts of adult females, juvenile bouts emitted during social excitement had higher maximum fundamental frequencies, greater proportions of asymmetric whoop subtypes, and reduced inter-whoop intervals. By reducing the inter-whoop intervals of bouts, juvenile hyenas significantly increased the likelihood that conspecifics would respond to whoops by approaching the caller or its social companion. Peak fundamental frequency and the relative abundance of whoop subtypes did not appreciably affect response. We discuss the potential functions of whooping by juvenile and adult hyenas in light of these findings.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Zoology, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824-1115, USA


Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

Article metrics loading...



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Subscribe to ToC alert
  • Get permissions
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    Behaviour — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation