Tuesday 6 December 2016

Complex frog communication surprises scientists

Published 13/01/2016 | 19:06

Frog communication seems to be more complex than thought
Frog communication seems to be more complex than thought

Communication in frogs is more complex and sophisticated than previously thought, a new study of their behaviour found.

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Squealing and arm-waving were just two of the ways the Brazilian torrent frogs, with "one of the most diverse visual and audio repertoires known to frogs" communicated, scientists said.

Researchers from Universidade Estadual Paulista in Brazil also discovered females demonstrated behaviour previously unknown to frogs, using a combination of visual displays and touch to stimulate the male's courtship call.

Dr Fabio P de Sa, lead author of the study published in PLOS, said: "Our study indicates that communication in species of the genus Hylodes is more sophisticated than expected. Also we suggest that communication in frogs is more complex than thought."

Scientists observed 70 male and female frogs over 15 months and found frog communication played a role in species recognition as well as identifying rivals or mates.

The report notes the frogs' complex range of communication as "one of the most diverse repertoires of visual and audio displays known to frogs".

Male frogs were found to perform visual displays using toes, feet, legs, hands, arms, vocal sacs, head and body, while females tended to use their hands, arms and bodies.

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