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DHOLE (Cuon alpinus)


Study Site: Moscow Zoo and Volokolamsk breeding centre of Moscow Zoo (Moscow prov., Russia), zoos of Germany.
Dates: Since 1999.
Participants: Volodin Ilya, Volodina Elena, Isaeva Irina, Nagaylik Mikhail, Unck Carolyn.
Collaborators: Frey Roland (Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research, Berlin, Germany).
Popular papers: <Science & Life>


There were a few research focuses:

  • Relations between vocal structures and morphology of the vocal apparatus
  • Relations between vocal structures and emotional states of animals
  • Occurrence and functions of nonlinear phenomena in vocalizations
  • Individual vocal variation

For the dhole, we found that only biphonic contact calls ensure the reliable individual identification and allow to estimate the orientation of a caller to the listener. These findings are consistent to the hypothesis of "relaxation of the visual channel of communication", that is, using vision for observing the chased prey, whilst the hearing - for estimating their own disposition relative to other members of a pack. This allows to the dholes to adjust finely their own behaviour accordingly to the behaviour or the chased victim and the pack mates, and ensure success of collective hunting.


sound videoSounds in the Gallery.




  • Frey R., Volodin I., Fritsch G., Volodina E. Potential sources of high frequency and biphonic vocalization in the dhole (Cuon alpinus) // PLoS ONE, 2016, v. 11(1): e0146330. p. 1-26. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0146330. 224.pdf
  • Volodina E.V., Volodin I.A., Isaeva I.V., Unck C. Biphonation may function to enhance individual recognition in the dhole, Cuon alpinus // Ethology, 2006, v.112, p. 815-825. 145.pdf
  • Volodin I.A., Nagaylik M.M., Volodina E.V. Cues to orientation of a caller to a listener in biphonic and non-biphonic close range contact calls in the dhole (Cuon alpinus) // Advances in Bioacoustics 2, Dissertationes Classis IV: Historia Naturalis, Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts (Ljubljana), 2006, v. 47, N 3, p. 245-255. 148.pdf
  • Volodin I.A., Volodina E.V., Filatova O.A. Structural peculiarities, occurrence and functional significance of nonlinear phenomena in calls of terrestrial mammals // Russian Journal for General Biology, 2005, v. 66, N 4, p. 346-362. (available in Russian). 140.pdf
  • Volodin I.A., Volodina E.V. Biphonation as a prominent feature of the Dhole Cuon alpinus sounds // Bioacoustics, 2002, v. 13, N 2, p. 105-120. 126.pdf
  • Volodin I.A., Volodina E.V., Isaeva I.V. Vocal repertoire in the Dhole Cuon alpinus (Carnivora, Canidae) in captivity // Entomological Review, v. 81, suppl. 2, 2001, p. S346-S361. Translated from Zoologicheskii Zhuarnal, 2001, v. 80, N 10, p. 1252-1267. 306.pdf