Mother-Calf Vocal Communication in Atlantic walrus (Igloolik, NU, Canada)
Entry ID: 450_0_IPEV_FR

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Summary
Abstract: Atlantic walrus Mothers and Calves' vocalisations were recorded in natural context in 2006 and 2008 in the Foxe Basin, Igloolik, Nunavut, Canada.

In total, 544 barks from 22 calves and 164 barks from 11 females have been recorded and analysed. Further vocalisations produced by adults have also been recorded in different social contexts as well as some underwater vocalisations. In addition to these recordings, playback tests on females were performed to assess calf's vocal recognition, and propagation tests of calls over water and ice surface have been carried out to assess the efficiency of vocal communication in their natural environment.

These data have been submitted to publication, the abstract is copied below:

In all colonial pinnipeds studied, mother-young vocal recognition exists and allows rapid and reliable meetings in spite of the confusing environment of the breeding colony. The efficiency of this recognition process guarantees pup survival, especially in species where females alternate foraging sea trips and lactation periods on land. The Atlantic Walrus (Odobenus rosmarus rosmarus) is a highly gregarious pinniped with females attending their calves for an extended period of time (2-3 years). Although we expect mother-calf vocal recognition to occur in this species due to the high density of individuals packed in herds, it has never been experimentally demonstrated. Here, we assessed the individual stereotypy of both mother and calf barks recorded in the wild by measuring frequency and temporal acoustic parameters. Both discriminant function and artificial neural network analyses resulted in high correct classification rates, underlying a well-defined individual stereotypy in parameters related to frequency modulation and frequency values. Playback experiments showed that mothers were more responsive to the barks of their own calf than to those of unrelated young. Finally, propagation experiments revealed that barks propagate at greater distances over water surface than over ice, acoustic features such as frequency modulation and frequency spectrum being highly resistant to degradation during propagation. Thus, acoustic analysis and propagation experiments suggest that these frequency parameters might be the key acoustic features involved in the individual identification process. This experimental study clearly demonstrates that Atlantic walrus has developed a highly reliable mother-calf vocal communication allowing such strong social bond.

Geographic Coverage
 N: 69.43 S: 68.7862  E: -79.334  W: -80.134

Temporal Coverage
Start Date: 2006-05-30
Stop Date: 2006-07-02

Start Date: 2008-05-29
Stop Date: 2008-06-26


Location Keywords
OCEAN > ARCTIC OCEAN > Foxe Basin
GEOGRAPHIC REGION > ARCTIC
GEOGRAPHIC REGION > POLAR
CONTINENT > NORTH AMERICA > CANADA > NUNAVUT > Igloolik, 69.3762, -81.7995


Science Keywords
AGRICULTURE >ANIMAL SCIENCE >ANIMAL ECOLOGY AND BEHAVIOR >ACOUSTIC COMMUNICATION    [Definition]
AGRICULTURE >ANIMAL SCIENCE >ANIMAL ECOLOGY AND BEHAVIOR >INDIVIDUAL RECOGNITION    [Definition]
BIOLOGICAL CLASSIFICATION >ANIMALS/VERTEBRATES >MAMMALS >CARNIVORES >SEALS/SEA LIONS/WALRUSES >ATLANTIC WALRUS


ISO Topic Category
BIOTA


Platform
ZODIACS    [Information]
FIELD INVESTIGATION    [Information]


Instrument
HYDROPHONES    [Information]


Project
VCAW >Vocal Communication in Atlantic Walrus    [Information]


Quality
Sound recordings and playback tests were all assessed in 2006. Vocalisations were recorded with the best signal-to-noise ratio, at a 44-kHz frequency sample, 16 bits, wav format.

The same equipment has been used for all recordings (Sennheiser shotgun microphones & Marantz digital recorders; CRT hydrophone).


Access Constraints
Limited access to the recordings. Please contact the main investigator.


Keywords
Atlantic walrus
vocal communication
individual recognition
mother-calf interactions


Data Set Progress
IN WORK


Data Center
CNRS-NAMC/UNIV PARIS11>Laboratoire Neurobiologie de la Memoire, de l'Apprentissage et de la Communication, Bioacoustics Team
Data Center URL: http://www.cb.u-psud.fr/
Dataset ID: sound files

Data Center Personnel
Name: ISABELLE CHARRIER
Phone: +33 1 69 15 68 26
Fax: +33 1 69 15 77 26
Email: isabelle.charrier at u-psud.fr
Contact Address:
NAMC - Université Paris Sud, Batîment 446
City: Orsay
Postal Code: 91405
Country: France


Personnel
ISABELLE CHARRIER
Role: INVESTIGATOR
Role: TECHNICAL CONTACT
Role: DIF AUTHOR
Phone: +33 1 69 15 68 26
Fax: +33 1 69 15 77 26
Email: isabelle.charrier at u-psud.fr
Contact Address:
NAMC - Université Paris Sud, Batîment 446
City: Orsay
Postal Code: 91405
Country: France



Creation and Review Dates
DIF Creation Date: 2009-11-03
Last DIF Revision Date: 2012-01-26

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