Communication and Perception
Vocal communication is important twice during the lifetime of a northern fur seal. Vocalizations are crucial to the mother and pup relationship. While the mother and pup are on the mating island the mother frequently returns to the ocean to hunt. When the mother returns vocalizations are used to find the young. If the young becomes lost the mother is able to locate her young by distinctive individual vocalizations. This type of vocalization is described as being loud, repetitive, and low or deep. Once the mother and pup have located each other the mother uses scent to verify the pup is her young.
Verbal communication also becomes important when males are competing for territory. Males will bark at each other during competition.
These animals are also reported to use scent marks.
Communication Channels: acoustic
Other Communication Modes: scent marks
Perception Channels: acoustic
- Insley, S. 2001. Mother-offspring vocal recognition in northern fur seals is mutual but asymmetrical. Animal Behavior, 61: 129-137.