Semantic information distinguishing individual predators in the alarm calls of Gunnison's prairie dogs

  title={Semantic information distinguishing individual predators in the alarm calls of Gunnison's prairie dogs},
  author={C. N. Slobodchikoff and J. Kiriazis and Cristina Rodr{\'i}guez Fischer and Edward D. Creef},
  journal={Animal Behaviour},
Abstract Gunnison's prairie dogs, Cynomys gunnisoni , are colonial social rodents that give alarm calls upon the approach of a predator. Field experiments at two natural colonies showed that the prairie dogs are able to encode information into their alarm calls about the colour of clothes and general shape of individual humans eliciting alarm calls. This shows that the prairie dogs are able to incorporate information about the characteristic features of individuals within a given predator… Expand
Size and shape information serve as labels in the alarm calls of Gunnison’s prairie dogs Cynomys gunnisoni
Some animals have the capacity to produce different alarm calls for terrestrial and aerial predators. However, it is not clear what cognitive processes are involved in generating these calls. OneExpand
Referential specificity in the alarm calls of the black-tailed prairie dog
This study tests the ability of black-tailed prairie dogs to encode information into their alarm calls about the color of clothes and general shape of humans who were potential predators, and shows that they have a referential system of communication, i.e., their alarm Calls have specificity for different characteristics of humans. Expand
Why do Gunnison's prairie dogs give anti-predator calls?
Abstract At a colony of Gunnison's prairie dogs, Sciuridae: Cynomys gunnisoni , containing marked individuals of known genetic relationships, anti-predator calling was investigated in response toExpand
Perceptual specificity in the alarm calls of Gunnison's prairie dogs
Responses to both the live predators and to predator-elicited alarm calls suggest that the alarm calls of Gunnison's prairie dogs contain meaningful referential information about the categories of predators that approach a colony of prairies. Expand
Communication of Stimulus Size and Shape in Alarm Calls of Gunnison’s Prairie Dogs, Cynomys gunnisoni
Results suggest that information with respect to stimulus size and shape is encoded in prairie dog alarm calls. Expand
Prairie dog alarm calls encode labels about predator colors
It is suggested that prairie dogs are able to incorporate labels about the individual characteristics of predators into their alarm calls, and that the complexity of information contained in animal alarm calls may be greater than has been previously believed. Expand
The importance of individual variation in the alarm calls of Gunnison's prairie dogs
It is concluded that, like several other species of ground-dwelling squirrels, Gunnison's prairie dogs have an individually distinctive alarm call that does not differ for different predators. Expand
Geographic Variation in Alarm Calls of Gunnison's Prairie Dogs
Geographic variation in alarm calls of Gunnison's prairie dogs ( Cynomys gunnisoni ) was analyzed at regional and local scales. Alarm calls in response to a common stimulus (the same human) wereExpand
Dialects in the alarm calls of black- tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus): A case of cultural diffusion?
Alarm calls of black-tailed prairie dogs are consistent with the existence of dialects as well as with genetic models of isolation by distance, and a comparison of Squared Euclidian Distances (D2) of alarm calls versus linear distances between sites showed a significant positive correlation, implying that alarm call dialect differences increase the farther one site is from another. Expand
Vigilance and predation risk in Gunnison's prairie dogs (Cynomys gunnisoni)
Results suggest that vigilant behavior in Gunnison's prairie dogs is an antipredator strategy because the animals oriented more frequently towards the periphery of the colony while vigilant. Expand


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It is concluded that vervet alarm calls function to designate different classes of external danger, and context was not a systematic determinant of response. Expand
Vocalizations of Belding's ground squirrels (Spermophilus beldingi)
Sonagrams of trills occurring in agonistic contexts suggest that a third general category of trill may exist, but agonistic trills were more variable than either anti-predator or post-copulatory trills. Expand
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Effects of habitat quality on growth, age of first reproduction, and dispersal in Gunnison's prairie dogs (Cynomys gunnisoni)
In a favorable habitat, Gunnison's prairie dogs were heavier, reached sexual maturity more rapidly, and dispersed at a younger age than in a less favorable habitat. Expand
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A lift table includes a receiving and supporting assembly and at least one lifting arm that extends perpendicularly to the receiving and supporting assembly. The assembly and the arm are mounted on aExpand
The Analysis of Animal Communication
Communication consists of the transmission of information from one animal to another, where information is encoded by one individual into a signal and this information undergoes decoding, while still retaining a specifiable relationship to the encoded information. Expand