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J Acoust Soc Am. 2007 May;121(5 Pt1):2984-9.

Acoustic signals of Chinese alligators (Alligator sinensis): social communication.

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Institute of Hydrobiology, The Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wuhan 430072, People's Republic of China.


This paper reports the first systematic study of acoustic signals during social interactions of the Chinese alligator (Alligator sinensis). Sound pressure level (SPL) measurements revealed that Chinese alligators have an elaborate acoustic communication system with both long-distance signal-bellowing-and short-distance signals that include tooting, bubble blowing, hissing, mooing, head slapping and whining. Bellows have high SPL and appear to play an important role in the alligator's long range intercommunion. Sounds characterized by low SPL are short-distance signals used when alligators are in close spatial proximity to one another. The signal spectrographic analysis showed that the acoustic signals of Chinese alligators have a very low dominant frequency, less than 500 Hz. These frequencies are consistent with adaptation to a habitat with high density vegetation. Low dominant frequency sound attenuates less and could therefore cover a larger spatial range by diffraction in a densely vegetated environment relative to a higher dominant frequency sound.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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