The vocalization of the Harbour seal pup (Phoca vitulina) and its role in the maintenance of contact with the mother


  • *MSRL Contribution no. 527.


The Harbour seal pup is predisposed to follow its mother's movements which helps to ensure that the pair stays together. The mother monitors her pup's following and it is argued in this paper that she does so primarily by listening to the frequent, individually characteristic vocalization of her pup. This call can be produced in air and water simultaneously and as such could serve as a precise location mechanism.