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Position: Adjunct Professor of Ethology. College of Sciences.
November 29, 1959.
Academic Studies:

Biological Sciences License, Facultad de Humanidades y Ciencias. Montevideo, Uruguay (1983).

D.E.A. in Animal Sociology, René Descartes University, Paris V. Paris, France (1984).

PhD in Biological Sciences, PEDECIBA - Facultad de Ciencias. Montevideo, Uruguay (1998).


Ethology of communication in upper vertebrates. Actually centered in the study of the acoustic communication system of the "tucu-tucus" (genus Ctenomys; Rodentia, Octodontidae), subterranean rodents autochthonous of South America.
Communication in arachnids. Spiders and Opilions


tucu.jpgThe "tucu-tucus" (genus Ctenomys) are subterranean rodents autochthonous of the center-south of South America. Almost all known species are solitary and aggressive, living in individual burrow systems except when they go uot to forage or during the reproductive season when males and females or females and pups live together during short periods.
To avoid unplanned encounters and the consequent aggressions, "tucu-tucus" must use a long-distance communication system to warn conspecifics. One of the forms employed by them, probably the most important, is the use of vocal signals.
tuc.gif Their more common sounds are those that we named "S Type" sounds (see their sonagram at right). (if you want to listen to the sound please clickhere)
This repetitive, highly structured and low pitched type of sound is the responsible for the common name of the species in Uruguay. Its function would be the territorial warning, keeping separate the different burrow systems from one another, and probably also the spatial localization of individuals on the same population.
Other important signals in Ctenomys repertoire are "C Type" sounds. This sounds are emitted by the female, alerting a male in her burrow about her sexual receptivity.
cnotas.gif The sonagrams of the 5 subtypes of C signals are showed at the left. These signals are usually followed by the male's mounting attempts and by its acceptation by the female and, they probably substitutes the use of "lordosis" as a signal in the obscure burrows.To listen to these sounds please click here.
The last example of this sound repertoire are "RN Type" signals. These are emitted by newborn pups, and their sonagram is showed at right. crias3.gif These sounds are produced when pups (exploring the tunnels) goes away from the nest and triggers the searching and recovering behaviour of the female. To listen to these sounds please click here.
Is interesting to note that these "chevron" (ascending-descending) sounds produce a wide spectrum of frequencies that surely increase the localization possibilities of the female.

The information showed here, including sonagrams and sound archives, could be used freely for scientific or educational purposes by appropiately citing the source. In case of using this information, please prevent me by e-mail citing the paper or web page where the data will be displayed.

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Updated: 23/10/2017