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Sex specific voice development in the shelduck tadorna tadorna


, : Sex specific voice development in the shelduck tadorna tadorna. Journal fuer Ornithologie 131(2): 174-176

The juvenile call repertoire in both sexes consists of 7 calls which were put in 4 different categories. In the early stages, male and female development follows the same pattern: call pitch rises over around 5 days, then lowers continuously. The lowest pitch is reached at the age of 60 to 70 days. In both sexes the pure tonal elements of the ducklings calls start to gain ill defined noise structures (breaking of the voice) in which the original element and its harmonics are still recognizable. All female calls have their direct structural equivalents in the duckling repertoire. In males breaking of the voice only occurs as a rudiment leading into a "mute phase". Shortly later, tonal elements similar to those of the duckling reappear. Pitch rises again and calls are altered by emphasizing higher harmonics. In a second developmental process apparently new components ("yu') are inserted between modified juvenile elements ("ti") to form new calls (tyu-tyu"). By high rate element repetition two different types of trills are created. Whereas the female repertoire is directly derived from the duckling calls, male vocalizations undergo secondary developmental changes.

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