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  A role for ultrasonic vocalisation in social communication and divergence of natural populations of the house mouse (Mus musculus domesticus)

Von Merten, S., Pfeifle, C., & Tautz, D. (2014). A role for ultrasonic vocalisation in social communication and divergence of natural populations of the house mouse (Mus musculus domesticus). PLoS ONE, 9(5): e97244. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0097244.

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Item Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0019-D7CC-5 Version Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0019-D7D0-A
Genre: Journal Article

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Von Merten, Sophie1, Author              
Pfeifle, Christine1, Author              
Tautz, Diethard1, Author              
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1Department Evolutionary Genetics, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology, Max Planck Society, ou_1445635              

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 Abstract: It has long been known that rodents emit signals in the ultrasonic range, but their role in social communication and mating is still under active exploration. While inbred strains of house mice have emerged as a favourite model to study ultrasonic vocalisation (USV) patterns, studies in wild animals and natural situations are still rare. We focus here on two wild derived mouse populations. We recorded them in dyadic encounters for extended periods of time to assess possible roles of USVs and their divergence between allopatric populations. We have analysed song frequency and duration, as well as spectral features of songs and syllables. We show that the populations have indeed diverged in several of these aspects and that USV patterns emitted in a mating context differ from those emitted in same sex encounters. We find that females vocalize not less, in encounters with another female even more than males. This implies that the current focus of USVs being emitted mainly by males within the mating context needs to be reconsidered. Using a statistical syntax analysis we find complex temporal sequencing patterns that could suggest that the syntax conveys meaningful information to the receivers. We conclude that wild mice use USV for complex social interactions and that USV patterns can diverge fast between populations.

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Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2013-12-032014-04-162014-05-09
 Publication Status: Published online
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 Identifiers: DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0097244
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Title: PLoS ONE
Source Genre: Journal
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Publ. Info: San Francisco, CA : Public Library of Science
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 9 (5) Sequence Number: e97244 Start / End Page: - Identifier: ISSN: 1932-6203
CoNE: /journals/resource/1000000000277850