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Biol Lett. 2011 Feb 23;7(1):71-4. doi: 10.1098/rsbl.2010.0582. Epub 2010 Sep 1.

Vocal cues to male androgen levels in giant pandas.

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  • 1Carnivores, Zoo Atlanta, 800 Cherokee Avenue, Atlanta, GA, USA. bcharlton@zooatlanta.org

Abstract

Little is known about the potential of non-human mammal vocalizations to signal information on the hormonal status of the caller. In the current study, we used endocrine data and acoustic analyses to determine whether male giant panda bleats provide reliable information about the caller's current androgen levels. Our results revealed significant relationships between acoustic features of male giant panda bleats and the caller's faecal androgen metabolite concentrations. To our knowledge, this constitutes the first demonstration that the acoustic structure of a non-human mammal call has the potential to yield information about the caller's current androgen levels. We go on to discuss the anatomical basis for our findings and the potential functional relevance of signalling information on male androgen levels in giant panda sexual communication.

PMID:
20810426
PMCID:
PMC3030892
DOI:
10.1098/rsbl.2010.0582
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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