Bats are an appealing animal for investigating the biological basis and evolution of speech-related traits in wild mammal systems. We investigated vocal development in Horsfield's leaf-nosed bat pups, Hipposideros larvatus. We found that newborn bats emit many types of isolation calls, including downward frequency modulation (DFM), arched frequency modulation (AFM), upward frequency modulation (UFM), and others. The gradual decrease of Euclidean distance measurements revealed that pup isolation calls (DFM, AFM, UFM) gradually change into adult social calls. Furthermore, one of the isolation call types (UFM type) encoded an individual signature. By contrast, we report that early echolocation calls and isolation calls develop in parallel. As pups develop, early echolocation calls gradually mature and transform into adult-like echolocation calls. The interval and duration of echolocation calls decreases, while the peak frequency and bandwidth of frequency modulation increases.
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Vol. 21 • No. 1