You sound familiar: carrion crows can differentiate between the calls of known and unknown heterospecifics

Wascher, C.A.F., Szipl, G., Boeckle, M. and Wilkinson, Anna (2012) You sound familiar: carrion crows can differentiate between the calls of known and unknown heterospecifics. Animal Cognition, 15 (5). pp. 1015-1019. ISSN 1435-9448

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In group-living animals, it is adaptive to recognize conspecifics on the basis of familiarity or group membership as it allows association with preferred social partners and avoidance of competitors. However, animals do not only associate with conspecifics but also with heterospecifics, for example in mixed-species flocks. Consequently, between-species recognition, based either on familiarity or even individual recognition, is likely to be beneficial. The extent to which animals can distinguish between familiar and unfamiliar heterospecifics is currently unclear. In the present study, we investigated the ability of eight carrion crows to differentiate between the voices and calls of familiar and unfamiliar humans and jackdaws. The crows responded significantly more often to unfamiliar than familiar human playbacks and, conversely, responded more to familiar than unfamiliar jackdaw calls. Our results provide the first evidence that birds can discriminate between familiar and unfamiliar heterospecific individuals using auditory stimuli. © 2012 Springer-Verlag.

Keywords:animal, animal communication, article, auditory stimulation, crow, female, hearing, human, male, perceptive discrimination, recognition, vocalization, Acoustic Stimulation, Animals, Auditory Perception, Crows, Discrimination (Psychology), Humans, Recognition (Psychology), Vocalization, Animal, Animalia, Aves, Corvidae, Corvus monedula
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C800 Psychology
D Veterinary Sciences, Agriculture and related subjects > D300 Animal Science
Divisions:College of Science > School of Life Sciences
ID Code:9113
Deposited On:23 Apr 2013 15:49

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