Floating frogs sound larger: environmental constraints on signal production drives call frequency changes

Sandra Goutte, Matías I. Muñoz, Michael J. Ryan, Wouter Halfwerk*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

In animal communication, receivers benefit from signals providing reliable information on signalers’ traits of interest. Individuals involved in conflicts, such as competition between rivals, should pay particular attention to cues that are “unfakeable” by the senders due to the intrinsic properties of the production process. In bioacoustics, the best-known example of such “index signals” is the relationship between a sender’s body size and the dominant frequency of their vocalizations. Dominant frequency may, however, not only depend on an animal’s morphology but also on the interaction between the sound production system and its immediate environment. Here, we experimentally altered the environment surrounding calling frogs and assessed its impact on the signal produced. Our results show that frogs that are floating are able to inflate their vocal sacs fully and that this change in inflation level is correlated with a decrease of call dominant frequency.

Original languageEnglish
Article number41
Pages (from-to)1-4
Number of pages4
JournalScience of Nature
Volume107
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 24 Sep 2020

Keywords

  • Acoustics
  • Honest communication
  • Morphological constraints
  • Sexual signaling
  • Sound production

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