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Title: Nestlings reduce their predation risk by attending to predator-information encoded within conspecific alarm calls
Contributor(s): Barati, Ahmad (author); McDonald, Paul (author)orcid 
Publication Date: 2017
Open Access: Yes
DOI: 10.1038/s41598-017-11528-y
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Abstract: Predation is one of the main threats to altricial nestlings, with predators often locating nests via eavesdropping on begging signals. Nestlings may be able to adjust their begging based on the current level of risk by monitoring both intra and interspecific alarm calls near the nest. We show that noisy miner ( Manorina melanocephala ) nestlings can differentiate between terrestrial and aerial alarm calls of their own species, as they suppressed begging behaviour for longer in response to terrestrial rather than aerial alarm calls. This differential response is potentially due to greater danger that terrestrial calls encode. In contrast, nestlings ignored alarm calls of the sympatric grey butcherbird ( Cracticus torquatus ) and continued to beg but reduced begging intensity in response to the non-alarm calls of a sympatric eastern rosella ( Platycercus eximius ), suggesting nestlings were likely responding based upon similarity to a known signal as opposed to expressing a learnt behaviour. Results show that nestlings respond adaptively to two different intraspecific alarm signals but have not learnt to respond to the alarm calls of sympatric species. These suggest that nestlings are able to take advantage of the complex vocal repertoire that adults produce, although discernment is an issue when filtering out irrelevant stimuli.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Scientific Reports, v.7, p. 1-10
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
Place of Publication: United Kingdom
ISSN: 2045-2322
Field of Research (FOR): 060809 Vertebrate Biology
060801 Animal Behaviour
060201 Behavioural Ecology
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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Appears in Collections:Journal Article
School of Environmental and Rural Science

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