Superfast periodicities in distress vocalizations emitted by bats

  • Communication sounds are ubiquitous in the animal kingdom, where they play a role in advertising physiological states and/or socio-contextual scenarios. Distress sounds, for example, are typically uttered in distressful scenarios such as agonistic interactions. Here, we report on the occurrence of superfast temporal periodicities in distress calls emitted by bats (species Carollia perspicillata). Distress vocalizations uttered by this bat species are temporally modulated at frequencies close to 1.7 kHz, that is, ∼17 times faster than modulation rates observed in human screams. Fast temporal periodicities are represented in the bats’ brain by means of frequency following responses, and temporally periodic sounds are more effective in boosting the heart rate of awake bats than their demodulated versions. Altogether, our data suggest that bats, an animal group classically regarded as ultrasonic, can exploit the low frequency portion of the soundscape during distress calling to create spectro-temporally complex, arousing sounds.

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Author:Julio C. Hechavarria-CueriaORCiDGND, Marcel Jerome BeetzORCiDGND, Francisco García RosalesORCiDGND, Manfred KösslORCiD
Parent Title (English):bioRxiv
Document Type:Preprint
Date of Publication (online):2019/08/13
Date of first Publication:2019/08/13
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2023/06/13
Page Number:51
Dewey Decimal Classification:5 Naturwissenschaften und Mathematik / 57 Biowissenschaften; Biologie / 570 Biowissenschaften; Biologie
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - CC BY-NC-ND - Namensnennung - Nicht kommerziell - Keine Bearbeitungen 4.0 International