[MARMAM] New publication on individual stereotypy in Cape fur seal vocal repertoire

Mathilde Martin mathilde.martin at universite-paris-saclay.fr
Sat Jun 26 09:58:46 PDT 2021

Dear Colleagues,

On behalf of my co-authors, I am happy to announce our recent 
publication in'Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology': Extreme ecological 
constraints lead to high degree of individual stereotypy in the vocal 
repertoire of the Cape fur seal (/Arctocephalus pusillus pusillus/)

Mathilde Martin, Tess Gridley, Simon Harvey Elwen, Isabelle Charrier

BES (2021), 


The ability to recognize the identity of conspecifics is a key component 
for survival of many animal species and is fundamental to social 
interactions such as parental care, intra-sexual competition or mate 
recognition. In group-living species, the simul- taneous co-existence of 
many individuals increases the number of interactions and reinforces the 
need for individual recogni- tion. Acoustic signals are widely used by 
birds and mammals to communicate and to convey information about 
identity, but their use in very dense colonies becomes challenging due 
to the high level of background noise and the high risk of confusion 
among individuals. The Cape fur seal (CFS) is the most colonial pinniped 
species and one of the most colonial mammals in the world, with colonies 
of up to 210,000 individuals during the breeding season. Here, we 
investigated the individual stereotypy in vocalizations produced by 
pups, females and male CFS using Random Forests and index of vocal 
stereotypy (IVS). We thus compared IVS values of CFS to other pinniped 
species. Within CFS we identified individuality in all call types but 
the degree of individual stereotypy varies in regard to their social 
function: affiliative calls produced in a mother–pup reunion context and 
territorial calls produced by mature bulls holding harem were more 
individualized than vocalizations involved in agonistic inter- actions. 
Our inter-species comparisons among pinnipeds showed that CFS 
affiliative and territorial calls displayed higher degrees of 
individuality compared to other species with similar or lower ecological 
constraints (colony density and social structure).

Please feel free to email me for a pdf copy 
at:mathilde.martin at universite-paris-saclay.fr 
<mailto:stephanie.ploen at gmail.com>

*Mathilde MARTIN*
PhD Student

Acoustic Communications Team, Department Cognition & Network Neuroscience
NeuroPSI - Paris-Saclay Institute of Neuroscience
Rue Claude Bernard, Bat. 446, 91405 Orsay, FRANCE

Tel: +33 (0)1 69 15 49 63
Email: mathilde.martin at universite-paris-saclay.fr
Website: https://mathildemartin-research.com/
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