Recent Publication on Vocal Repertoire Stability of Harp Seals (fwd)

From: Pita Admininstrator (
Date: Sat Apr 13 2002 - 19:53:48 EDT

Serrano, A. and Terhune, J. M. Stability of underwater vocal repertoire of
harp seals (Pagophilus groenlandicus). 2002. Aquatic Mammals. 28(1): 93-101

            Underwater vocalizations of harp seals (Pagophilus
groenlandicus) were recorded in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, Canada, in late
February and March over seven years between 1968 and 1999. Harp seals
produced seventeen call types. No new call types or major changes in the
repertoire were observed over three decades. Call type proportional usage
varied significantly among years. Only call type 13 showed significant
differences in the number per elements per call per year. Call type 14 was
the only call type that showed a significant difference for element
duration. The proportional usage of call types varied significantly between
early and late in the breeding season in four of the seven years. No call
types showed a significant difference in the number of elements per call
between early and late in the breeding season. The stable nature of the
vocal behaviour of harp seals may enhance recognition of the various call
types and thus serve to enhance conspecific communication.
Arturo Serrano, PhD
LGL Limited
environmental research associates
22 Fisher Street, P.O. Box 280
King City, Ontario, L7B 1A6
Phone (905) 833 6897, Fax (905) 833 1255

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