Bat Predation and the Evolution of Frog Vocalizations in the Neotropics

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Science  06 Nov 1981:
Vol. 214, Issue 4521, pp. 677-678
DOI: 10.1126/science.214.4521.677


Bat predation has probably had an important influence on the evolution of frog vocalizations in the Neotropics. The rate at which fringe-lipped bats capture frogs is significantly higher when the frogs are calling. These bats respond to a wide variety of calls from edible frogs, and, when simultaneously presented with a choice, choose the recorded call of a palatable species over that of a poisonous species and the call of a small species over that of one too large to capture. Thus the selective advantages of loud, rapid mating calls in anurans are balanced by an increased risk of predation.