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Do Seismic Signals Diverge at the Level of Cytotypes in Turkish Blind Mole Rats?

Do Seismic Signals Diverge at the Level of Cytotypes in Turkish Blind Mole Rats?

Faruk Çolak1 and Ferhat Matur2,3,*

1Department of Biology, Faculty of Arts and Science, Zonguldak Bülent Ecevit University, Zonguldak, Turkey
2Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Dokuz Eylül University, Buca 35412, Izmir, Turkey
3Dokuz Eyül University, The Center for Faunistic and Floristic Research, Buca 35412, Izmir, Turkey

*      Corresponding author:


Subterranean animals are limited in mobility and have reduced sensory ability due to living underground, and therefore are presented with a challenge to communicate. One solution is to use seismic signalling, by head drumming, to convey species-specific information. The lesser blind mole rats (Nannospalax sp.) are obligate subterranean rodents known for their remarkable chromosomal variation. In the present study, we investigated whether the structure of seismic signalling is different between the two species found in Turkey, Nannospalax leucodon and the N. xanthodon and whether it is associated with ecological, sex, temporal and chromosomal peculiarities. A cytotype of N. leucodon (2n=56)and three cytotypes of N. xanthodon, (2n=38, 52 and 60) were used in the study. We observed no seismic signalling in N. leucodon. In N. xanthodon, the cytotype 2n=60 had faster rate of signalling in comparison to two other cytotypes (2n=38 and 2n=52), and the cytotypes also differed significantly in the structural components of their signals. There was no difference in signal pattern between different fundamental number variations within cytotypes. We observed temporal variation in seismic signals, but did not found any difference in signalling between the sexes, suggesting the signals are not used for mate recognition. In addition, the signalling structure was not associated with the climate and the soil types of the habitat of origin. We suggest that seismic communication by drumming may be used to recognize conspecifics within the same cytotype or species.

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Pakistan Journal of Zoology


Pakistan J. Zool., Vol. 56, Iss. 3, pp. 1001-1500


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