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Responses of Captive Alligators to Auditory Stimulation

Frank A. Beach
The American Naturalist
Vol. 78, No. 779 (Nov. - Dec., 1944), pp. 481-505
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2458290
Page Count: 25
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Responses of Captive Alligators to Auditory Stimulation
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Abstract

A male Alligator mississipiensis (5 feet 4 inches long) was stimulated to roar in response to a tone of approximately 57 ∼, and occasionally by the first harmonic of this fundamental. Other tones ranging upwards to 341 ∼ failed to elicit roaring but did evoke behavioral changes indicating the animal's auditory sensitivity. Three smaller males did not roar, but gave evidence that the sounds were heard. Roaring was accompanied by accurate localizing responses and by the adoption of an "aggressive approach" type of locomotion; and a smaller male was attacked repeatedly when placed in the tank with the roaring alligator. Bodily changes during roaring have been described and the bearing of present observations upon reports by field naturalists discussed.

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