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Biol Lett. 2007 Dec 22;3(6):632-4.

Heterospecific alarm call recognition in a non-vocal reptile.

Author information

  • 1Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544, USA. mvitouse@princeton.edu

Abstract

The ability to recognize and respond to the alarm calls of heterospecifics has previously been described only in species with vocal communication. Here we provide evidence that a non-vocal reptile, the Galápagos marine iguana (Amblyrhynchus cristatus), can eavesdrop on the alarm call of the Galápagos mockingbird (Nesomimus parvulus) and respond with anti-predator behaviour. Eavesdropping on complex heterospecific communications demonstrates a remarkable degree of auditory discrimination in a non-vocal species.

PMID:
17911047
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2391237
Free PMC Article

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