Vocalizations of nine species of rat (Rattus; Muridae)



The sounds produced by seven species of Rattus native to Australia and the Black rat (R. rattus) and the Brown rat (R. norvegicus), were investigated in the laboratory. Both audible and ultrasonic sounds were recorded and the ontogeny of the different vocalizations investigated. All nine species had the same basic repertoire of seven more or less discrete calls. Some calls varied more between the different species than did others. Similarly there were species' differences in the ease with which some calls could be elicited. Two major continua were identified, one audible and one ultrasonic. An attempt was made to put the vocalizations recorded into an evolutionary perspective.