Name that tune: call discrimination and individual recognition in Magellanic penguins

Individual recognition via vocalizations is key to reproductive success in many species. We explored individual recognition and call discrimination in Magellanic penguins, Spheniscus magellanicus, through several playback experiments. By using two call types in multiple social contexts, we demonstrate, for the first time in a Spheniscus species, that adults and chicks can discriminate between conspecific […]

Assessment of positive emotions in animals to improve their welfare

It is now widely accepted that good welfare is not simply the absence of negative experiences, but rather is primarily the presence of positive experiences such as pleasure. However scientific investigation of positive emotions has long been neglected. This paper addresses two main issues: first, it reviews the current state of scientific knowledge that supports […]

Eye white may indicate emotional state on a frustration-contentedness axis in dairy cows

Research on welfare indicators has focused primarily on indicators of poor welfare, but there is also a need for indicators that can cover the range from good to poor welfare. The aim of this experiment was to compare behaviour elements in dairy cows shown in response to a frustrating situation as well as elements shown […]

Effects of reproductive and social context on vocal communication in captive female African elephants (Loxodonta africana)

Abstract 10.1002/zoo.20063.abs Female African elephants advertise changes in reproductive condition to males through a variety of modalities, including an increase in low-frequency vocalizations, presumed to travel long distances. Although males respond to these vocalizations, it has been suggested that their proximate function may be to signal to nearby females rather than to distant males. Because […]

Vocal behaviour in cattle: the animal’s commentary on its biological processes and welfare

The vocalizations of cattle provide conspecifics with meaningful information about the caller. If we can learn how to interpret this information correctly, it could be used to improve management and welfare assessment. Vocalization may be viewed as a subjective commentary, by an individual, on its own internal state. The vocal behaviour of cattle is potentially […]

Vocal duetting by a mated pair of coral-billed ground-cuckoos (Carpococcyx renauldi) at the Metro Toronto Zoo

Abstract 10.1002/(SICI)1098-2361(1997)16:23.3.CO;2-S During a behavioral study, I recorded vocal duetting by a mated pair of Coral-billed Ground-cuckoos (Carpococcyx renauldi) at the Metro Toronto Zoo. The birds produced three different call types that were combined into four distinct simultaneous and antiphonal duetted sequences. Duetting bouts (n = 12) were always initiated by the male and lasted […]

Signalling need: costly signals and animal welfare assessment

If animals signal their level of need for certain resources, scientists should be able to use these signals in assessing animal well-being. Theoretical models show that, under certain conditions, natural selection can favour the evolution of “honest” signalling systems, where vocal and other natural signals provide reliable indicators of the signaller’s needs. These conditions include […]

Discrete or graded variation within rhesus monkey screams? Psychophysical experiments on classification

Gouzoules et al. (1984, Animal Behaviour,32, 182-193) presented evidence that semifree-ranging rhesus monkeys, Macaca mulatta, produce acoustically distinctive classes of scream vocalizations that carry different functional messages. To determine the perceptual validity of these vocal classes, we conducted psychophysical experiments on captive rhesus monkeys. We trained two monkeys to maintain contact with a metal response […]

Proceptive calling by female lion-tailed macaques

Abstract 10.1002/zoo.1430090605.abs During 6 years of monitoring breeding groups of lion-tailed macaques, it was discovered that females regularly emitted a non-copulatory vocalization during the follicular portion of the menstrual cycle. In the majority of cases females focused visually on a particular male when calling. Two-thirds of all calls were directed at males living outside the […]

The feasibility of using vocalization scoring as an indicator of poor welfare during cattle slaughter

Vocalizations of cattle in six commercial slaughter plants were tabulated during handling in the forcing pen stunning box and single file race. Each animal was scored as being either a vocalizer or nonvocalizer. Vocalizations that occurred in the lairage pens were not counted. A total of 1125 animals were observed during normal operations and 112 […]