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Tigers' Roars Identify Their Individuality, Can Also Boost Their Population

First Posted: Aug 25, 2016 04:54 AM EDT

Previous studies have shown that individuality is not exclusive for humans. Animals have it too, and can show it in different ways. For instance, a dog's nose print and a tiger's stripes are unique just like a human's fingerprints. And just recently, another study revealed that a tiger's stripes are not the lone indicator of its identity. Another way to tell it is through their roars.

According to IFL Science, the big cats seem to produce their own tune. The Prusten Project has found that tigers' calls can be used to identify them because they are unique to each individual. The claim was supported by digital recordings done by the group. Known to many, cats make various types of sounds and noises ranging from short roars to long roars. The former is used to intimidate while the latter is used to find mates. By analyzing the roars using a computer program, the researchers were able to tell which tiger made what sounds.

Meanwhile, phys.org reported that researchers are using the tigers' sounds not just to identify each of the big cats but also to help in boosting and saving their population. According to Courtney Dunn of The Prusten Project, the tigers' voices can also be used like the human's fingerprints. Identifying the tigers leads to determining their accurate population and protecting them. Likewise, the tigers' voices can be used to tell when illgeal hunting activities are happening. Lastly, they are an effective tool in telling males and females apart; hence researchers can determine if there is a healthy breeding population.

The Prusten Project studies tigers' social vocalization by using various fields like bioacoustics, conservation biology, ecology, and animal behavior. It hopes that through its program, different organizations will be able to choose where they would focus their protection efforts. As of writing, project members are planning to use the digital audio recordings in different parts of the world. Prusten is another word for chuffing, which is one of the common sounds tigers make.

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