Sound localization behavior of the barking gecko, Ptenopus garrulus

Name of applicant

Jakob Christensen-Dalsgaard


Associate Professor


University of Southern Denmark


DKK 24,500



Type of grant

Field Trips / Research Stays < 100,000


The aim of the project is to study sound localization behavior in a lizard, the South African barking gecko. The barking gecko is a small burrowing lizard, and during the nights of the South African spring the male geckos call very frequently from their burrows. Like other lizards, the barking geckos have a special configuration of the ear that makes that it highly directional. Also, simplified models of the lizard ear and the neural processing of sound direction can be used in sound localizing robots. It would be really valuable to inform these models by investigating sound localization behavior, but most lizards do not have very robust behavioral responses to sound. The barking gecko is an exception and will readily respond to playbacks by orienting towards the sound source. We will film the orientation response of geckos to gecko calls played from different directions in the field The analysis of the accuracy of orientation to these playbacks will enable us to evaluate the outcome of directional processing by the lizard auditory system.

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