Vocal Sounds of the Chinchilla

by Hunyady, Heather

Abstract (Summary)
Purpose: The goal of this project was to categorize the fundamental frequency and durational patterns of chinchilla (laniger) vocal productions relative to typical interaction situations. Methods: This project focused on 4 distinct call types: Exploratory, Contact, Bark, and Alarm from three sources: doctoral dissertation supplements, pet owner posts, and newly collected samples from a single chinchilla. Praat was used to extract the fundamental frequency (F0) contour from the recordings. Results: Primary characteristics of the Exploratory utterances were: token Fo contours had a rapid decrease in frequency (136 ST/s), (2) token durations and token periods overlapped to a large extent across animals, 77% of all tokens contained a final Fo up-sweep tag, and utterances contained an average of 9 tokens. The Contact utterances contained 2-4 Exploratory-like tokens preceding a few transitional tokens, segueing into a sequence of the Contact tokens, Fo contours were complex, variable, and low pitched (300-800 Hz), there is a typical brief low Fo dip of less than an octave from the preceding and following Fo, and the utterances contained an average of approximately 7. Bark utterances were characterized by a brief tonal segment followed by a distinctive noise interval, an abrupt intensity onset followed by a more gradual intensity offset, an increase in token period duration across the utterance, an intensity decrease across the tokens, with a variant of the Bark category including an inspiratory tone preceding or following the token, and the utterances contained an average of 6 tokens. The Alarm utterance token was a high intensity call that included a large, very rapid frequency jump, and maintained a high intensity throughout.
Bibliographical Information:


School:Bowling Green State University

School Location:USA - Ohio

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:chinchilla communication bioacoustics fundamental frequency


Date of Publication:01/01/2008

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