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dc.contributor.authorFedurek , Pawel
dc.contributor.authorZuberbuhler, Klaus
dc.contributor.authorSemple, Stuart
dc.identifier.citationFedurek , P , Zuberbuhler , K & Semple , S 2017 , ' Trade-offs in the production of animal vocal sequences : insights from the structure of wild chimpanzee pant hoots ' , Frontiers in Zoology , vol. 14 , no. 50 .
dc.identifier.otherPURE: 251351184
dc.identifier.otherPURE UUID: d526eccf-3493-4d8c-898f-1fc35d1618b5
dc.identifier.otherScopus: 85032899968
dc.identifier.otherWOS: 000414549500001
dc.identifier.otherORCID: /0000-0001-8378-088X/work/64360727
dc.descriptionThe study was funded by Swiss National Science Foundation (310030_143359) and European Research Council project grants awarded to KZ (PRILANG 283871).en
dc.description.abstractBackground Vocal sequences - utterances consisting of calls produced in close succession - are common phenomena in animal communication. While many studies have explored the adaptive benefits of producing such sequences, very little is known about how the costs and constraints involved in their production affect their form. Here, we investigated this issue in the chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii) pant hoot, a long and structurally complex vocal sequence comprising four acoustically distinct phases – introduction, build-up, climax and let-down. Results We found that in each of these phases, and for the sequence as a whole, there was a negative relationship between the number of calls produced and their average duration. There was also a negative relationship between the total duration of some adjacent phases. Significant relationships between the fundamental frequency of calls and their number or duration were found for some phases of the sequence, but the direction of these relationships differed between particular phases. Conclusions These results indicate that there are trade-offs in terms of signal duration at two levels in pant-hoot production: between call number and duration, and between the relative durations of successive phases. These trade-offs are likely to reflect biomechanical constraints on vocal sequence production. Phase-specific trade-offs also appear to occur between fundamental frequency and call number or duration, potentially reflecting that different phases of the sequence are associated with distinct types of information, linked in different ways to call pitch. Overall, this study highlights the important role of costs and constraints in shaping the temporal and acoustic structure of animal vocal sequences.
dc.relation.ispartofFrontiers in Zoologyen
dc.rights© The Author(s) 2017. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.en
dc.subjectAcoustic trade-offsen
dc.subjectCall sequencesen
dc.subjectMenzerath’s lawen
dc.subjectPant hooten
dc.subjectBF Psychologyen
dc.subjectQL Zoologyen
dc.titleTrade-offs in the production of animal vocal sequences : insights from the structure of wild chimpanzee pant hootsen
dc.typeJournal articleen
dc.description.versionPublisher PDFen
dc.contributor.institutionUniversity of St Andrews. School of Psychology and Neuroscienceen
dc.contributor.institutionUniversity of St Andrews. Institute of Behavioural and Neural Sciencesen
dc.contributor.institutionUniversity of St Andrews. Centre for Social Learning & Cognitive Evolutionen
dc.description.statusPeer revieweden

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