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Paternal kin recognition in the high frequency / ultrasonic range in a solitary foraging mammal.

Kessler, Sharon E. and Scheumann, Marina and Nash, Leanne T and Zimmermann, Elke (2012) 'Paternal kin recognition in the high frequency / ultrasonic range in a solitary foraging mammal.', BMC ecology., 12 (1). p. 26.

Abstract

Background Kin selection is a driving force in the evolution of mammalian social complexity. Recognition of paternal kin using vocalizations occurs in taxa with cohesive, complex social groups. This is the first investigation of paternal kin recognition via vocalizations in a small-brained, solitary foraging mammal, the grey mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus), a frequent model for ancestral primates. We analyzed the high frequency/ultrasonic male advertisement (courtship) call and alarm call. Results Multi-parametric analyses of the calls’ acoustic parameters and discriminant function analyses showed that advertisement calls, but not alarm calls, contain patrilineal signatures. Playback experiments controlling for familiarity showed that females paid more attention to advertisement calls from unrelated males than from their fathers. Reactions to alarm calls from unrelated males and fathers did not differ. Conclusions 1) Findings provide the first evidence of paternal kin recognition via vocalizations in a small-brained, solitarily foraging mammal. 2) High predation, small body size, and dispersed social systems may select for acoustic paternal kin recognition in the high frequency/ultrasonic ranges, thus limiting risks of inbreeding and eavesdropping by predators or conspecific competitors. 3) Paternal kin recognition via vocalizations in mammals is not dependent upon a large brain and high social complexity, but may already have been an integral part of the dispersed social networks from which more complex, kin-based sociality emerged.

Item Type:Article
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Available under License - Creative Commons Attribution.
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Status:Peer-reviewed
Publisher Web site:https://doi.org/10.1186/1472-6785-12-26
Publisher statement:© Kessler et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2012 This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Date accepted:02 November 2012
Date deposited:17 July 2018
Date of first online publication:30 November 2012
Date first made open access:No date available

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