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A comparison of the vocalizations of two species of flying foxes in the Samoan archipelago. (Abstracts).

Most mammals use audible vocalizations to communicate but few studies have documented the extent, range, or distinctiveness of these calls. We report acoustic communication in two species of flying fox that coexist in the Samoan archipelago, Pteropus samoensis and P. tonganus. Flying foxes are large fruit and nectar eating bats restricted to the Old World. They are members of the suborder Megachiroptera and the family Pteropodidae. There are 60 recognized species in the genus Pteropus. Species include the largest living bats, with wingspans up to 1.7 meters. No species of flying fox echolocates, a trait ubiquitous in Microchiropterans. Communication within and between species involves audible calls but remains largely unstudied. We compared the vocalizations of P. samoensis and P. tonganus from Tutuila, American Samoa in June 2001 using a Senheiser MKH-70 P 48 directional microphone, Sony digital audio tape recorder TCD D 10 PRO II, and Canary bioacoustical software for analysis. P. samoensis is a largely diu rnal species that roosts within trees either singly or in small family groups (male, female, and single offspring). It is highly territorial and actively defends its territory against intruders. Vocal communication is the primary means used to deter other flying foxes from landing within an occupied territory. P. tonganus is a nocturnal species and roost in large noisy camps with up to 5000 animals congregated in adjacent trees. Interactions between the two species are minimal. Variation between populations and species were examined from sonograms using five parameters: peak frequency, pulse rate, maximum frequency, frequency 1 (high frequency of the peak harmonic) and number of harmonics.
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Author:K., Eiler; Newmark, J.; Drummond, B.; Stewart, C.; Banack, S.
Publication:Bulletin (Southern California Academy of Sciences)
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1U0AS
Date:Aug 1, 2002
Words:263
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