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Acoustic communication in the Greater Sage-Grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) an examination into vocal sacs, sound propagation, and signal directionality

  • Author(s): Dantzker, Marc Steven
  • et al.

The thesis is an inquiry into the acoustic communication of a very unusual avian species, the Greater Sage-Grouse, Centrocercus urophasianus. One of the most outstanding features of this animal's dynamic mating display is its use of paired air sacs that emerge explosively from an esophageal pouch. My first line of inquiry into this system is a review of the form and function of similar vocal apparatuses, collectively called vocal sacs, in birds. Next, with a combination of mathematical models and field measurements, My collaborator and I investigate the acoustic environment where the Greater Sage-Grouse display. The complexities of this acoustic environment are relevant both to the birds and to the subsequent examinations of the display's properties. Finally, my collaborators and I examine a cryptic component of the acoustic display --- directionality --- which we measured simultaneously from multiple locations around free moving grouse on their mating grounds

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