Skip to content

Research at St Andrews

Geographical variation in temporal and spatial vocalization patterns of male harbour seals in the mating season

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Author(s)

S M Van Parijs, G D Hastie, P M Thompson

School/Research organisations

Abstract

In the aquatically mating harbour seal, Phoca vitulina, oestrous females show marked differences in spatial and temporal distribution between geographical areas. This suggests that the males' display behaviour may also vary between areas. We recorded male vocalizations in two areas, the Moray Firth and Orkney, U.K. In the Moray Firth, females haul out on a few intertidal sandbars and travel along predictable routes to forage at sea. In Orkney, female haul out sites are much less influenced by tidal availability and females are much more dispersed. In the Moray Firth, males vocalized only during a short mating season, from 1 July to 12 August. Vocalizations varied significantly with the tide, the peak at high tide clearly coinciding with the period when most females were in the water. In contrast, vocalizations in Orkney were significantly related to both tidal and diel patterns. We suggest that the timing of male vocalizations reflects differences in female availability between sites. In the inner Moray Firth, vocalizations were heard throughout the females' range, whereas vocalizations in Orkney were heard only in two discrete areas. However, at both sites the density of vocalizing males was highest in narrow channels and/or along predictable female travel routes. Therefore, males clearly adapt their temporal and spatial behaviour patterns to variations in female distribution and density. These results suggest that male mating strategies in aquatically mating pinnipeds are more variable than was previously envisaged. (C) 1999 The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour.

Close

Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1231-1239
Number of pages9
JournalAnimal Behaviour
Volume58
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1999

Discover related content
Find related publications, people, projects and more using interactive charts.

View graph of relations

Related by author

  1. Effects of impulsive noise on marine mammals: investigating range-dependent risk

    Hastie, G., Merchant, N., Goetz, T., Russell, D. J. F., Thompson, P. & Janik, V. M., 12 Jun 2019, In : Ecological Applications. Early View, 10 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  2. Empirical determination of severe trauma in seals from collisions with tidal turbine blades

    Onoufriou, J., Brownlow, A., Moss, S., Hastie, G. & Thompson, D., 14 May 2019, In : Journal of Applied Ecology. Early View, 13 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  3. Harbour seals avoid tidal turbine noise: implications for collision risk

    Hastie, G. D., Russell, D. J. F., Lepper, P., Elliott, J., Wilson, B., Benjamins, S. & Thompson, D., Mar 2018, In : Journal of Applied Ecology. 55, 2, p. 684-693 10 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  4. Seals and shipping: quantifying population risk and individual exposure to vessel noise

    Jones, E. L., Hastie, G. D., Smout, S., Onoufriou, J., Merchant, N. D., Brookes, K. L. & Thompson, D., Dec 2017, In : Journal of Applied Ecology. 54, 6, p. 1930-1940

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Related by journal

  1. Animal Behaviour (Journal)

    Susan Denise Healy (Editor)
    1 Jan 201831 Dec 2018

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesEditor of research journal

  2. Animal Behaviour (Journal)

    Will Cresswell (Reviewer)
    15 Sep 2017

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesPeer review of manuscripts

  3. Animal Behaviour (Journal)

    Michael Munro Webster (Editor)
    1 Jan 201731 Dec 2019

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesEditor of research journal

  4. Animal Behaviour (Journal)

    Susan Denise Healy (Editor)
    1 Jan 201731 Dec 2017

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesEditor of research journal

  5. Animal Behaviour (Journal)

    Susan Denise Healy (Editor)
    1 Jun 201631 Dec 2016

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesEditor of research journal

Related by journal

  1. Evolutionary roads to syntax

    Zuberbuhler, K., May 2019, In : Animal Behaviour. 151, p. 259-265

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  2. Male Norway rats cooperate according to direct but not generalized reciprocity rules

    Schweinfurth, M. K., Aeschbacher, J., Santi, M. & Taborsky, M., 27 Apr 2019, In : Animal Behaviour. In press

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  3. Development of object manipulation in wild chimpanzees

    Lamon, N., Neumann, C. & Zuberbuhler, K., Jan 2018, In : Animal Behaviour. 135, p. 121-130

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  4. Experience shapes social information use in foraging fish

    Webster, M. M. & Laland, K. N., Dec 2018, In : Animal Behaviour. 146, p. 63-70

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  5. Field experiments with wild primates reveal no consistent dominance-based bias in social learning

    Botting, J., Whiten, A., Grampp, M. & van de Waal, E., Feb 2018, In : Animal Behaviour. 136, p. 1-12 12 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

ID: 35078284