Acoustic structure and information content of trumpets in female Asian elephants (Elephas maximus)

Autor(en)
Evelyn Fuchs, Veronika C. Beeck, Anton Baotic, Angela Stöger-Horwath
Abstrakt

Most studies on elephant vocal communication have focused on the low-frequency rumble, with less effort on other vocalization types such as the most characteristic elephant call, the trumpet. Yet, a better and more complete understanding of the elephant vocal system requires investigating other vocalization types and their functioning in more detail as well. We recorded adult female Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) at a private facility in Nepal and analyzed 206 trumpets from six individuals regarding their frequency, temporal and contour shape, and related acoustic parameters of the fundamental frequency. We also tested for information content regarding individuality and context. Finally, we recorded the occurrence of non-linear phenomena such as bifurcation, biphonation, subharmonics and deterministic chaos. We documented a mean fundamental frequency ± SD of 474 ± 70 Hz and a mean duration ± SD of 1.38 ± 1.46 s (Nindiv. = 6, Ncalls = 206). Our study reveals that the contour of the fundamental frequency of trumpets encodes information about individuality, but we found no evidence for trumpet subtypes in greeting versus disturbance contexts. Non-linear phenomena prevailed and varied in abundance among individuals, suggesting that irregularities in trumpets might enhance the potential for individual recognition. We propose that trumpets in adult female Asian elephants serve to convey an individual’s identity as well as to signal arousal and excitement to conspecifics.

Organisation(en)
Department für Verhaltens- und Kognitionsbiologie
Journal
PLoS ONE
Band
16
ISSN
1932-6203
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0260284
Publikationsdatum
11-2021
Peer-reviewed
Ja
ÖFOS 2012
106054 Zoologie
Link zum Portal
https://ucris.univie.ac.at/portal/de/publications/acoustic-structure-and-information-content-of-trumpets-in-female-asian-elephants-elephas-maximus(bc6f5503-c649-4d37-bfd9-d327f160c261).html