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New bioacoustic article in Environ. Biol. Fishes

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Subject: New bioacoustic article in Environ. Biol. Fishes
From: "Sonja Amoser" <>
Date: Thu, 18 Jan 2007 15:03:01 +0100
C. E. Johnston and H. M. Buchanan (2007): Learned or innate production of
acoustic signals in fishes: a test using a cyprinid. Environ. Bio. Fishes,
78/2, 183-187

Abstract: No information on the inheritance of the ability to produce sounds
exists for fishes. In birds, which usually provide extensive post-hatching
parental care, acoustic signals are learned in some species but are innate
in others. Almost no fishes provide extensive post-hatching parental care
and, consequently, the offspring have little opportunity to hear and learn
sounds produced by the parents (usually the male in fishes); they may,
however, be exposed to acoustic signals of conspecifics in the same habitat.
We used a cyprinid, Codoma ornata, to test whether sound production is
learned from the parents or whether it is innate. Fertilized eggs of this
species were raised in isolation from adults. Upon maturity, these fish were
tested for sound production in aggressive and reproductive contexts. Fish
which had no contact with adults, and therefore no opportunity to hear the
acoustic signals of their species, produced sounds that were similar to
those produced by their parents, and they produced these in the same
contexts. Significant differences were observed in dominant frequency for
one context, with the smaller F1 fish having signals of higher frequency
than parental fish. Since no opportunity for learning existed, this provided
evidence that the ability to produce sounds is innate in this minnow

University of Vienna, Dept. of Behavioural Biology
Sonja Amoser
PhD Student, Research Associate

Althanstrasse 14
1090 Vienna
tel: +43 (1) 4277 54467
fax: +43 (1) 4277 54506
mobile: +43 (664) 500 61 06

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