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2005.07.02

ヒョウアザラシのオスは歌でメスを口説く?

gooニュースより「南氷洋アザラシのオスは歌でメスを口説く=豪科学者が発見

南氷洋にいるアザラシのレパード・シール(ヒョウアザラシ)のオスは複雑なメロディーの歌を歌ってメスを引きつける能力があることをオーストラリアの研究者が発見した。
ヒョウアザラシこの研究結果を発表したのはオーストリアのタロンガ動物園の女性科学者トレーシー・ロジャーズ氏。

ヒョウアザラシは南極周辺に生息するアザラシで大きいものでは3m以上になります。寿命は26年以上ですが雄は2−6歳で性的に成熟します。

非常に鋭い歯をもつヒョウアザラシですが、その攻撃的な外見とは裏腹に非常に繊細な一面を持っているようです。

ロジャーズ氏によると、単独で行動する習性のヒョウアザラシの雄は海中で逆立ちし、体を前後に揺らしながらソウル調の歌を歌うとのこと。歌は単調なぶつぶつ声と複雑なメロディーの2種に分類でき、後者の方はザトウクジラの美しい歌声に匹敵し、海中では40キロ先まで届くそうです。パートナーを見つけることができない雄は最高13時間も歌うと報告されました。

ロジャーズ氏によれば、ウェッデル・シールと呼ばれる群生のアザラシのオスは聴衆の前でジャズ歌手のように歌うのが好きで、メスの通り道で、海中ステージに上がっているかのように「公演」するという。
歌がうまい雄ほどもてるんでしょうか(笑)

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