SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

Abstract

In ferrets distress calls are uttered by the young during the first weeks of life. Sound spectrograms revealed a large band width of the calls with remarkable ultrasonic overtones up to 100 kHz during the first two weeks. With increasing age the frequency range declines and the sounds altogether become low frequency. In natural situations lactating ♀♀ showed searching behavior and even occasional vocalization when distress calls were emitted by a young. In experimental situations where they had to decide between low frequency components (< 20 kHz) and high frequency components (> 16 kHz) of a distress call, lactating ♂ reliably oriented themselves towards the source of high frequency sounds. Nonlactating controls never reacted to such high frequency components with observable behavior patterns.