Motherese in animals: Female bats change the color of voice when addressing their pups

“Babytalk” or “motherese” is a special case of social feedback and plays a crucial role in infant speech acquisition. Increasing evidence shows that social feedback shapes the vocal development in many other vocal learning species. A new study published in the journal Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution describes for the first time a phenomenon reminiscent of motherese in bat vocalizations. Scientists from the Natural History Museum Berlin discovered that females of the greater sac-winged bat Saccopteryx bilineata consistently changed the timbre (i.e. color of voice) depending on whether they addressed their pups or an adult conspecific.

Quelle: IDW Informationsdienst Wissenschaft