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Nursing Behavior in Taiwan Field Vole through Ultrasonic Vocalizations

吴忠信  萧淳任  
【摘要】:正Behavioral observations and neurophysiological investigations indicate that rodents such as rat pups can emit ultrasounds (20kHz) that are perceived by adult rodents. Ultrasound produced by infants can induce lactating female rats to release prolactin and promote typical maternal behavior:nest building,searching for pups,retrieving and licking of pups.However,most studies concerning ultrasonic vocalizations of pups come from experiments on laboratory animals such as rats or mice and were executed in lab.In order to study whether rodent pups in wild-field use ultrasonic vocalizations to attract mother or evade the natural enemy,we selected Taiwan field vole(Microtus kikuchii) as model animals to investigate ultrasound vocalizations during postnatal development.Taiwan field voles inhabit in higher mountain and possess good adaptation in wild-field.AnaBatⅡdetector was used to record ultrasounds of Taiwan field vole pups and then the program of AnaLookW was used to analysis the wave pattern of ultrasounds.By means of the ultrasounds detector,we confirmed whether Taiwan field voles should emit ultrasonic vocali- zations and their ultrasounds were changed with development of the pup.Our results showed that(1) Taiwan field vole pups can produce ultrasounds as other rodents do.(2) The frequency of ultrasounds was evolved from high to low;and the sweep of ultrasounds was evolved from mild to steep.(3) The ultrasounds were never detected in young when they have begun to open their eyes and move voluntarily.Our results suggested that the sense of sight might affect the ultrasonic vocalization of Taiwan field vole pups.Also ultrasounds of pups become more complex as pups become mature that might be due to pups' learning and imitating behavior toward their folks.These data extend our knowledge of the patterning of ultrasounds during nesting behavior and suggest the need for additional investigation concerning whether field vole pups evade the natural enemy by way of ultrasounds.

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