DATE: Friday, 15th November 2019
LOCATION: Geelong Campus at Waurn Ponds – room ka4.207
Seminar will also be video linked to the following campuses: Melbourne Campus at Burwood –Burwood Corporate Centre and Warrnambool Campus, Room J2.19 (Fishbowl)
Many species of birds and mammals eavesdrop on the alarm calls of other species, and so gain information on danger but also expose themselves to the risk of deception. First, I consider how animals recognize the meaning of other species’ alarm calls. Contrary to intuition, alarm calls don’t all sound similar and may not be intrinsically scary. Instead, individuals commonly respond to familiar but not unfamiliar alarms, implying learning.
I describe experiments to test for learned recognition by Australian birds, including through social learning. Second, paying attention to the alarm calls of others means that you are vulnerable to deceptive use of alarm calls by those species. This commonly entails individuals giving false alarm calls and then stealing food dropped by victims that have fled. I describe a different context, in which the tiny brown thornbill deceives the much larger pied currawong during attempted nest predation.
Overall, our findings reveal how learning can help explain the widespread eavesdropping networks in natural communities, and allow the complex web of information and deception.
Rob Magrath is a Professor of Behavioural Ecology at the Australian National University. In recent years his group has focussed on studying acoustic communication and eavesdropping in Australian birds.
We’re interested in both the design and function of signals, and have studied communication about danger, parent-offspring communication, vocal mimicry and duetting.
Appointments with speaker may be made via email@example.com.
External visitors – wish to join us and connect to our seminars?
External parties may connect to the live seminar via *N SEBE VMP LES Seminars firstname.lastname@example.org [ID.36958] via the methods listed below:
- For external guests, you can connect as a web guest by clicking HERE. If using Chrome you it will prompt you to install the Cisco Jaba Plugin, then it will prompt you to download the extension which you will need to install. Once this has been installed, you will have a black screen with a call button. You will just need to click call and it should connect into the VMP.
- For Deakin staff and students, please join via Skype for Business (Lync) – if you have office installed you may already have Skype for business or Lync installed. You just need to look for it on the start menu. If you find it, you can log into skype using your Deakin email and password and then dial 36958.
- Could not log in? More info on how to connect is available HERE or HERE.
- From a mobile phone or landline: call +613 92517000, wait for the prompt, then enter the five digit VMP number (36958)
- Please note that connection is only available while a seminar is taking place.
As a courtesy, we request that when connecting to the seminar that you mute your microphone unless you are required to speak, this would ensure that the sound from the speaker to the audience is not disrupted by feedback from your microphone – thank you!