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Bioacoustic papers in Nature

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Subject: Bioacoustic papers in Nature
From: "XIAO, Jianqiang" <>
Date: Mon, 23 May 2011 13:07:20 -0400
Nature | Research Highlights

Nature,473,256 (19 May 2011)
Published online:18 May 2011

Zoology: Warblers of the underwater world

Proc. R. Soc. B doi:10.1098/rspb.2011.0656 (2011)

Many birds, mammals and amphibians vary the frequency and intensity of their vocalizations to expand their vocabulary. Aaron Rice, Bruce Land and Andrew Bass at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, show that fish also use forms of 'acoustic nonlinearity', such as frequency jumps and biphonation — the simultaneous _expression_ of two independent frequencies.

The authors recorded and analysed the vocal calls of three-spined toadfish (Batrachomoeus trispinosus; pictured), which produce 'hoots' and 'grunts' by vibrating their swim bladders. Around 35% of the fish's calls had at least one form of nonlinearity. Severing the animals' vocal motor nerve stopped them producing these effects.

The fact that fish make complex vocalizations previously found only in four-limbed vertebrates suggests that there is a major selection pressure to produce innovation in acoustic signals.



XIAO, Jianqiang, Ph.D.
Research Associate
Psychology Department
Rutgers University
152 Frelinghuysen Road
Piscataway, NJ 08854
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