Evidence of auditory insensitivity to vocalisation frequencies in two frogs

Goutte, Sandra, Mason, Matthew J., Christensen-Dalsgaard, Jakob , Montealegre-Z, Fernando, Chivers, Benedict D., Sarria, Fabio, Antoniazzi, Marta M., Jared, Carlos, Almeida Sato, Luciana and Toledo, Luís Felipe (2017) Evidence of auditory insensitivity to vocalisation frequencies in two frogs. Scientific Reports, 7 . p. 12121. ISSN 2045-2322

Full content URL: http://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-017-12145-5

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The emergence and maintenance of animal communication systems requires the co-evolution of signal and receiver. Frogs and toads rely heavily on acoustic communication for coordinating reproduction and typically have ears tuned to the dominant frequency of their vocalizations, allowing discrimination from background noise and heterospecific calls. However, we present here evidence that two anurans, Brachycephalus ephippium and B. pitanga, are insensitive to the sound of their own calls. Both species produce advertisement calls outside their hearing sensitivity range and the inner ear is partly undeveloped, which accounts for their lack of high-frequency sensitivity. Unheard by the intended receivers, calls are not beneficial to the emitter and should be selected against because of the costs associated with signal production. We suggest that protection against predators conferred by their high toxicity might help to explain why calling has not yet disappeared, and that visual communication may have replaced auditory in these colourful, diurnal frogs.

Keywords:hearing, Acoustic, Vocalization, Animal, Animalia, calling song, tympanum vibration, bmjdoi
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C180 Ecology
C Biological Sciences > C182 Evolution
C Biological Sciences > C300 Zoology
F Physical Sciences > F361 Laser Physics
F Physical Sciences > F380 Acoustics
Divisions:College of Science > School of Life Sciences
ID Code:28726
Deposited On:13 Sep 2017 14:13

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