Acoustic communication and vocal production learning in bats

Talk Mirjam Knörnschild

  • Datum: 17.12.2015
  • Uhrzeit: 13:00 - 14:00
  • Vortragende(r): Dr. Mirjam Knörnschild
  • Freie Universität Berlin
  • Ort: Seewiesen
  • Raum: Seminar Room, House 4, Tea & Coffee 12:30, Videoconference to Radolfzell
  • Gastgeber: Dr. Holger Goerlitz
  • Kontakt:
Acoustic signals are by far the best studied component of bats’ social communication. Various different vocalization types accompany diverse social interactions, such as mother-pup recognition, male-male aggression, territoriality and courtship. Rich vocal repertoires might be a by-product of the bats’ excellent control over their vocal tract which is necessary for echolocation. Correspondingly, bats comprise one of the few mammalian orders capable of vocal production learning. In my talk, I will summarize the current knowledge about learned vocalizations in a Neotropical bat, the greater sac-winged bat Saccopteryx bilineata. This species is one of the most thoroughly studied bats with regard to its natural history and social communication in the wild. Male S. bilineata sing to repel rivals and attract mates. Moreover, the vocalizations of males and females encode different vocal signatures (individual-, sex- and group-specific) facilitating social communication. Juvenile S. bilineata are capable of vocal production learning, namely the social modification of an innate, naturally selected vocalization type (pup isolation call) and the learned acquisition of a sexually selected vocalization type (male territorial song).
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