Evidence of auditory insensitivity to vocalization frequencies in two frogs

Goutte, S., Mason, M. J., Christensen-Dalsgaard, J. , Montealegre-Z, F., Chivers, B. D., Sarria-S, F. A., Antoniazzi, M. M., Jared, C., Almeida Sato, L. and Felipe Toledo, L. (2017) Evidence of auditory insensitivity to vocalization frequencies in two frogs. Scientific Reports, 7 (1). p. 12121. ISSN 2045-2322

Full content URL: https://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 their inner ears are partly undeveloped, which accounts for their lack of high-frequency sensitivity. If 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. © 2017 The Author(s).

Keywords:Animal behaviour, Animal physiology, Evolution, Herpetology
Subjects:D Veterinary Sciences, Agriculture and related subjects > D300 Animal Science
Divisions:College of Science > School of Life Sciences
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ID Code:29176
Deposited On:17 Oct 2017 13:53

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