Crocodilian Communication
A. mississippiensis threat call

When an alligator doesn't want to be disturbed, it may produce a "threat call" when approached. This is one of several kinds of threatening calls produced by a juvenile alligator. Both the spectrogram and the power spectrum of the call are shown below.


Alligator mississippiensis
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To listen to the call which is shown here, click on either 8-bit or 16-bit to download the sounds.


WHAT IT ALL MEANS

The spectrogram to your right shows the sound in a visual form - it plots frequency against time, with intensities shown as different colours. The power spectrum plots frequency against intensity, averaged over the whole call.


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DESCRIPTION QUALITY & SIZE DURATION RELATED CALLS
THREAT CALL
(low intensity cough)
8-bit
4.0 k
16-bit
16.1 k
0.19 s 2 | 3
Spectrogram

Power spectrum The spectrogram (above) shows a very brief, low level threat - a "cough". The power spectrum (right) shows the average intensities of the frequencies over the entire call.

There is very little structure to the call, which covers a wide bandwidth of frequencies (over 20 kHz), but intensities are high (peak frequency: 4.80 kHz).

This is a "threat call" which, as the name implies, is used against potential threats or aggressors. The call is usually produced while the head is snapped sideways aggressively towards the potential threat. If the nature of the threat persists, then the intensity of the call is increased, and the animal may attempt to bite while snapping its head sideways [see other A. mississippiensis threat calls].

If you were to translate this call, it would mean "Leave me alone!"


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