Audio Stimulus Gets Cheetahs to Mate

Man-altered bioacoustics work as an aphrodisiac for cheetahs
By Ambreen Ali,  Newser User
Posted Apr 2, 2009 11:08 AM CDT
Scientists played an altered version of the "stutter-bark" to get the female cheetahs to mate with less experiences males.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Man’s ingenuity has altered nature’s rhythms for the better at the San Diego Zoo, where an African cheetah cub was born after zookeepers helped her dad turn on her mom, the North Country Times reports. Park scientists used bioacoustics—human-altered animal sounds—to stimulate mating after they discovered that a male cheetah’s “stutter-bark” was raising hormone levels in female cheetahs.

A staff member morphed recordings of the aphrodisiac purr with his own vocalizations and played it inside the cheetah enclosure. The altered voice provoked the less experienced males to also purr, prompting mating. Man’s job is not yet done: Female cheetahs often kill or abandon single cubs, so the staff is hand-raising 6-week-old Amara.