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Roaring by red deer stags advances the date of oestrus in hinds


Some male mammals call loudly and repeatedly during the breeding season1–5. Although the song of male birds is known to have effects on male–male competition6, mate selection and ovulation8–14, until now the loud calls of male mammals have been shown to affect only competition between males1,15. Although it has been suggested that loud calling could also serve to attract females16,17, the possibility that it has a direct effect on reproduction in females has not previously been investigated for any mammal. Here I report that roaring in red deer (Cervus elaphus) advances ovulation and that harem-holding males can improve their mating success by regular calling.

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McComb, K. Roaring by red deer stags advances the date of oestrus in hinds. Nature 330, 648–649 (1987).

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