Influences of Female Pupping Habitat and Maternal Care on the Vocal Repertoire Size of Male Phocid Seals
The number of different vocalization types produced by male seals is influenced by the female’s maternal care strategy and not the sexual selection strategy (monogamy vs polygyny) of the males - as thought previously.
In species where females remain with their pups while nursing, the males produce few, simple vocalizations (listen to the southern elephant seal and crabeater seal) – which are used in male-male agonistic interactions.
Where females continue to go to sea while nursing their pup, males cannot ‘coerce’ (mate guarding, etc) females in mating, in this instance males have a broader range of diverse calls - perhaps having an inter-sexual (female attractive) function (listen to the vocalisations of the leopard and Weddell seal).
FEMALES MATERNAL STRATEGY INFLUENCES THE
MALES'S VOCALIZATION REPERTOIRE
Factors influencing the acoustic behaviour of male phocid seals
An amorous male leopard seal (at the front) sings to a female (at the back).
It is rare to see leopard seals in such close proximity. They are solitary. Males sing underwater for many hours a day during their breeding season. Presumably this is to attract a sexually receptive female (one ready to mate) - appears to have worked here.
check out the video below