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Moscow, Russia

Volodin I.A.,Moscow State University | Zaytseva A.S.,Saint Petersburg State University | Ilchenko O.G.,Moscow Zoo | Volodina E.V.,Moscow Zoo | Chebotareva A.L.,Moscow Zoo
Journal of Experimental Biology | Year: 2012

Self-produced seismic vibrations have been found for some subterranean rodents but have not been reported for any Insectivora species, although seismic sensitivity has been confirmed for blind sand-dwelling chrysochlorid golden moles. Studying the vocal behaviour of captive piebald shrews, Diplomesodon pulchellum, we documented vibrations, apparently generated by the wholebody wall muscles, from 11 (5 male, 6 female) of 19 animals, placed singly on a drum membrane. The airborne waves of the vibratory drumming were digitally recorded and then analysed spectrographically. The mean frequency of vibration was 160.5?Hz. This frequency matched the periodicity of the deep sinusoidal frequency modulation (159.4?Hz) found in loud screech calls of the same subjects. The body vibration was not related to thermoregulation, hunger-related depletion of energy resources or fear, as it was produced by well-fed, calm animals, at warm ambient temperatures. We hypothesize that in the solitary, nocturnal, digging desert piebald shrew, body vibrations may be used for seismic exploration of substrate density, to avoid energy-costly digging of packed sand for burrowing and foraging. At the same time, the piercing quality of screech calls due to the deep sinusoidal frequency modulation, matching the periodicity of body vibration, may be important for agonistic communication in this species. © 2012. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

Frey R.,Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research | Volodin I.,Moscow State University | Volodina E.,Moscow Zoo | Carranza J.,University of Cordoba, Spain | Torres-Porras J.,University of Cordoba, Spain
Journal of Anatomy | Year: 2012

Roaring in rutting Iberian red deer stags Cervus elaphus hispanicus is unusual compared to other subspecies of red deer, which radiated from the Iberian refugium after the last glacial maximum. In all red deer stags, the larynx occupies a permanent low mid-neck resting position and is momentarily retracted almost down to the rostral end of the sternum during the production of rutting calls. Simultaneous with the retraction of the larynx, male Iberian red deer pronouncedly protrude the tongue during most of their rutting roars. This poses a mechanical challenge for the vocal tract (vt) and for the hyoid apparatus, as tongue and larynx are strongly pulled in opposite directions. This study (i) examines the vocal anatomy and the acoustics of the rutting roars in free-ranging male C. e. hispanicus; (ii) establishes a potential mechanism of simultaneous tongue protrusion and larynx retraction by applying a two-dimensional model based on graphic reconstructions in single video frames of unrestrained animals; and (iii) advances a hypothesis of evaporative cooling by tongue protrusion in the males of a subspecies of red deer constrained to perform all of the exhausting rutting activities, including acoustic display, in a hot and arid season. © 2012 The Authors Journal of Anatomy © 2012 Anatomical Society.

Frey R.,Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research | Volodin I.,Moscow State University | Volodina E.,Moscow Zoo | Soldatova N.V.,Ecocenter Djeiran | Juldaschev E.T.,Ecocenter Djeiran
Journal of Anatomy | Year: 2011

Similar to male humans, Homo sapiens, the males of a few polygynous ruminants - red deer Cervus elaphus, fallow deer Dama dama and Mongolian gazelle Procapra gutturosa- have a more or less enlarged, low-resting larynx and are capable of additional dynamic vocal tract elongation by larynx retraction during their rutting calls. The vocal correlates of a large larynx and an elongated vocal tract, a low fundamental frequency and low vocal tract resonance frequencies, deter rival males and attract receptive females. The males of the polygynous goitred gazelle, Gazella subgutturosa, provide another, independently evolved, example of an enlarged and low-resting larynx of high mobility. Relevant aspects of the rutting behaviour of territorial wild male goitred gazelles are described. Video and audio recordings served to study the acoustic effects of the enlarged larynx and vocal tract elongation on male rutting calls. Three call types were discriminated: roars, growls and grunts. In addition, the adult male vocal anatomy during the emission of rutting calls is described and functionally discussed using a 2D-model of larynx retraction. The combined morphological, behavioural and acoustic data are discussed in relation to the hypothesis of sexual selection for male-specific deep voices, resulting in convergent features of vocal anatomy in a few polygynous ruminants and in human males. © 2011 The Authors. Journal of Anatomy © 2011 Anatomical Society of Great Britain and Ireland.

Volodin I.A.,Moscow State University | Lapshina E.N.,Moscow State University | Volodina E.V.,Moscow Zoo | Frey R.,Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research | Soldatova N.V.,Ecocenter Djeiran
Ethology | Year: 2011

Like many other gazelles, goitred gazelles (Gazella subgutturosa) are capable of calling either through the nose or through the open mouth. In particular, juvenile goitred gazelles provide a convenient model for contrasting acoustic characteristics of nasal and oral calls, and for estimating their communicative functions. In this study, acoustic variables (formants, fundamental frequency, duration and power quartiles) of 480 oral and 483 nasal calls, recorded from 20 (9 male, 11 female) individually identified captive juvenile goitred gazelles, were examined for their potential to encode sex and identity of the caller. Discriminant function analysis revealed an equally high potential of oral and nasal calls to encode sex, whereas encoding the individual identity was significantly more accurate for oral calls. Sex was encoded exclusively in formants, whilst individual identity was encoded in a combination of all investigated variables. No correlation was found between body mass and values of any acoustic variable. Analyses controlling for age and sex revealed higher average values for all investigated variables of oral calls compared to nasal calls. We discuss the results in relation to the source-filter theory, mother-offspring communication and production mechanisms of nasal and oral calls in mammals. © 2011 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.

Dubrovsky V.Y.,Moscow Zoo
Zoologicheskii Zhurnal | Year: 2016

The number of small mammals was registered using traps and pitfalls on Shokalsky Island (72°55′ N, 74°20′ E) during 20 days in August 2014. A total of 157 skulls from pomarine skua (Stercorarius pomarinus) pellets were examined. Only Siberian lemming (Lemmus sibiricus Kerr 1792) was identified. Trapping cylinders were used for the work in river valleys and flat interfluves. According to these data, the total number and large proportion of young non-breeding males were higher in the river valleys. The same habitats and drift-woods at the valley wall were investigated using break-back traps. Juvenile individuals were not found using this technique. The population structure in the river valleys was similar to that in the flat interfluve. In the drift-woods compared to the other habitats, the number of small mammals was 2 times higher, and the proportion of breeding females was greater.

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