Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Fallow Deer Become Hoarse In The Hunt For A Mate

Date:
May 30, 2009
Source:
Queen Mary, University of London
Summary:
Fallow deer become hoarse when trying to attract a mate, according to scientists.

Fallow deer. Fallow deer become hoarse when trying to attract a mate, according to scientists from Queen Mary, University of London.
Credit: iStockphoto/Graeme Purdy

Fallow deer become hoarse when trying to attract a mate, according to scientists from Queen Mary, University of London.

Writing in the journal Animal Behaviour, Dr Alan McElligott from Queen Mary's School of Biological and Chemical Sciences has found that male fallow deer (bucks) can call for a mate more than 3000 times per hour during the peak of the mating season. Their prolonged vocal efforts cause their call structure to break down, leaving them hoarse.

During the mating season known as 'the rut', fallow bucks produce a call or groan, both to attract mates, and repel competing males. Groans contain information about various aspects of each animal, such as their size and status in the herd.

Dr McElligott and Dr Elisabetta Vannoni (University of Zurich) studied a herd of fallow deer in Dublin, Ireland. They recorded the bucks' groans during three consecutive breeding seasons (2002, 2003, 2004), between dawn and sunset each day during October. Matings in fallow deer populations peak in late October and this is also when competition between males intensifies, called 'the rut'.

They found that the pitch of groans was lowest during the peak and highest at the beginning and end of the rut. Similar effects on pitch have been seen in men who use their voices for prolonged periods of time, such as teachers and actors.

The duration of buck groans decreased as the rut progressed, probably due to exhaustion and the large weight loss (on average 25 per cent of body weight) that bucks experience at this time.

Dr McElligott explains: "Fallow bucks groan at very high rates during the rut. They also eat less, fight often, and lose a lot of weight. We think the changes in their groan structure are linked to this decline in body condition, and this information on their weakened state could be used by other bucks when deciding to challenge and fight."

"We believe that this phenomenon might be widespread in animals with similar strategies during the breeding season, in which males call repeatedly, reduce their food intake and consequently lose a lot of condition."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Queen Mary, University of London. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Queen Mary, University of London. "Fallow Deer Become Hoarse In The Hunt For A Mate." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 May 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090519214929.htm>.
Queen Mary, University of London. (2009, May 30). Fallow Deer Become Hoarse In The Hunt For A Mate. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090519214929.htm
Queen Mary, University of London. "Fallow Deer Become Hoarse In The Hunt For A Mate." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090519214929.htm (accessed July 22, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die

Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die

AP (July 22, 2014) An 80-year-old agave plant, which is blooming for the first and only time at a University of Michigan conservatory, will die when it's done (July 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
San Diego Zoo Welcomes New, Rare Rhino Calf

San Diego Zoo Welcomes New, Rare Rhino Calf

Reuters - US Online Video (July 21, 2014) An endangered black rhino baby is the newest resident at the San Diego Zoo. Sasha Salama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Shark Sightings a Big Catch for Cape Tourism

Shark Sightings a Big Catch for Cape Tourism

AP (July 21, 2014) A rise in shark sightings along the shores of Chatham, Massachusetts is driving a surge of eager vacationers to the beach town looking to catch a glimpse of a great white. (July 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
$23.6 Billion Awarded To Widow In Smoking Lawsuit

$23.6 Billion Awarded To Widow In Smoking Lawsuit

Newsy (July 20, 2014) Cynthia Robinson claims R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company hid the health and addiction risks of its products, leading to the death of her husband in 1996. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins