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Red Deer

Cumberland Wildpark Grünau
Grünau, Austria
  1271 Visits
During the rutting season, red deer stags compete for access to females. The most common rutting calls produced by stags are the so-called common roars. Common roars are given in bouts of up to 11 calls. One function of common roars is to chase and herd females. Another important function of roaring is the acoustic assessment of competing stags. When one red deer stag challenges another, he starts a roaring contest. Roaring thereby resembles an honest indicator of the fighting ability of red deer stags: larger and stronger individuals roar at higher rates, and their roars sound deeper. With this acoustic assessment, exhausting fights with larger and more experienced stags can be prevented in advance, as the inferior stag commonly retreats. Moreover, roaring influences mate choice: red deer hinds are highly attracted to roars produced by larger stags with higher fighting ability.