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Vocalizations of wild Asian elephants (Elephas maximus): Structural classification and social context

Nair, Smita and Balakrishnan, Rohini and Seelamantula, Chandra Sekhar and Sukumar, R (2009) Vocalizations of wild Asian elephants (Elephas maximus): Structural classification and social context. In: Journal Of The Acoustical Society Of America, 126 (5). pp. 2768-2778.

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Abstract

Elephants use vocalizations for both long and short distance communication. Whereas the acoustic repertoire of the African elephant (Loxodonta africana) has been extensively studied in its savannah habitat, very little is known about the structure and social context of the vocalizations of the Asian elephant (Elephas maximus), which is mostly found in forests. In this study, the vocal repertoire of wild Asian elephants in southern India was examined. The calls could be classified into four mutually exclusive categories, namely, trumpets, chirps, roars, and rumbles, based on quantitative analyses of their spectral and temporal features. One of the call types, the rumble, exhibited high structural diversity, particularly in the direction and extent of frequency modulation of calls. Juveniles produced three of the four call types, including trumpets, roars, and rumbles, in the context of play and distress. Adults produced trumpets and roars in the context of disturbance, aggression, and play. Chirps were typically produced in situations of confusion and alarm. Rumbles were used for contact calling within and among herds, by matriarchs to assemble the herd, in close-range social interactions, and during disturbance and aggression. Spectral and temporal features of the four call types were similar between Asian and African elephants.

Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: Copyright for this article belongs to Acoustical Society of America.
Department/Centre: Division of Electrical Sciences > Electrical Engineering
Division of Biological Sciences > Centre for Ecological Sciences
Date Deposited: 02 Dec 2009 05:33
Last Modified: 19 Sep 2010 05:52
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ernet.in/id/eprint/25010

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