Navigation Links
Meerkats recognize each other from their calls
Date:10/13/2011

Recognizing other individuals from their voices is second nature to humans. Certain primates also have this ability. Whether other mammals that live in social groups are also able to do so, however, is unclear. Like with primates, vocal communication is vital for meerkats. They coordinate their activities with calls, such as to warn other group members of approaching predators, for instance, and thus stick together as a group. Behavior biologists from the University of Zurich have already managed to decipher many calls in meerkat communication. Now, however, they have become the first to establish that meerkats are able to distinguish individual calls.

Vocal recognition

Behavior biologists from the University of Zurich simulated the simultaneous presence of a group member in two different places in a novel playback experiment on wild meerkats in the Kalahari Desert of Southern Africa. Meerkats were played two different calls from the same group member one after the other. This physically impossible scenario was contrasted with a physically possible scenario where the meerkats heard calls from two different group members. According to the researcher in charge, Simon Townsend, the meerkats responded more strongly to the impossible scenario than to calls from two different individuals. The scientists concluded that meerkats can tell the individual members of a group apart from their calls.

Differentiated distinction

Meerkat colonies are highly organized and essentially divide their work into three roles: lookouts, hunters and babysitters. Until now, we had assumed that meerkats assigned their conspecific counterparts to these groups but do not differentiate them from one another. With this experiment, however, the behavior biologists have proved this assumption wrong. In both scenarios, calls from an equal-ranking group member were used. "We take it that meerkats can tell the individual group members apart. However, we don't yet know which cognitive mechanisms underlie this ability. Or whether the ability to tell group members apart is merely linked to auditory cues," says Townsend.


'/>"/>
Contact: Simon Townsend, University of Zurich
simon.townsend@ieu.uzh.ch
41-446-355-286
University of Zurich
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Honest crabs, power to the hungry, nice mice and clever meerkats: News from the American Naturalist
2. Frost & Sullivan Recognizes AOptix Technologies for its Pioneering Contribution to Security through Noninvasive Biometrics
3. Biologists, educators recognize excellence in evolution education
4. Frost & Sullivan Recognizes Precise Biometrics as a Key Player in the Non-AFIS Fingerprint Market
5. Collegiate Inventors Competition recognizes top student inventors
6. Brain recognizes verbal oh dear wave
7. Value of satellites recognized for conserving wetlands
8. Pollution at home lurks unrecognized, instead attributed to large-scale environmental disasters
9. Household exposure to toxic chemicals lurks unrecognized, researchers find
10. 13 UCR faculty members recognized by American Association for the Advancement of Science
11. Rice University psychologist finds womens brains recognize, encode smell of male sexual sweat
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/23/2017)... , March 23, 2017 The report "Gesture Recognition ... Biometric), Industry, and Geography - Global Forecast to 2022", published by MarketsandMarkets, the ... a CAGR of 29.63% between 2017 and 2022. ... ... ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... NEW YORK , March 21, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... Customer Marketing Cloud used by retailers such as ... in its platform — Product Recommendations and Replenishment. Using ... to give more personalized product and replenishment recommendations ... purchases, but also on predictions of customer intent ...
(Date:3/20/2017)... 2017 PMD Healthcare announces the release of ... Management System (WMS), a remote, real-time lung health monitoring ... Healthcare is a Medical Device, Digital Health, and Chronic ... creating innovative solutions that empower people to improve their ... PMD developed the first ever personal spirometer, Spiro PD, ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2017)... ... June 23, 2017 , ... The Academy ... and the University Aviation Association (UAA), the unifying voice for collegiate aviation education, ... will encourage teamwork, competition, and success through a STEM-based education platform. , Much ...
(Date:6/22/2017)... ... June 22, 2017 , ... AESKU.GROUP, an ... Diagnostische Systeme & Technologien GmbH, thereby expanding its product portfolio to include allergy ... fever, urticaria, asthma, atopic eczema or a food allergy. Allergies are escalating to ...
(Date:6/22/2017)... ... June 22, 2017 , ... The first human cell line HeLa, established in ... data on cross-contamination of human cell lines with HeLa cells were published. Until recently, ... culture labs and is associated with dramatic consequences for research. , In this ...
(Date:6/20/2017)... ... June 20, 2017 , ... Biologist Dawn Maslar MS has found a biomarker ... Men Chase, Women Choose: The Neuroscience of Meeting, Dating, Losing Your Mind, and Finding ... men. ”The logical next step, in my estimation, was to scientifically track the evidence ...
Breaking Biology Technology: