Contextual encoding in titi monkey alarm call sequences
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Many primates produce one type of alarm call to a broad range of events, usually terrestrial predators and non-predatory situations, which raises questions about whether primate alarm calls should be considered “functionally referential”. A recent example is black-fronted titi monkeys, Callicebus nigrifrons, which emit sequences of B-calls to terrestrial predators or when moving towards or near the ground. In this study, we reassess the context-specificity of these utterances, focussing both on their acoustic and sequential structure. We found that B-calls could be differentiated into context-specific acoustic variants (terrestrial predators vs. ground-related movements) and that call sequences to predators had a more regular sequential structure than ground-related sequences. Overall, these findings suggest that the acoustic and temporal structure of titi monkey call sequences discriminate between predator and non-predatory events, fulfilling the production criterion of functional reference.
Berthet , M , Neumann , C , Mesbahi , G , Cäsar Damas , C & Zuberbuhler , K 2018 , ' Contextual encoding in titi monkey alarm call sequences ' , Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology , vol. 72 , 8 . https://doi.org/10.1007/s00265-017-2424-z
Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology
© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2017. This work has been made available online in accordance with the publisher’s policies. This is the author created, accepted version manuscript following peer review and may differ slightly from the final published version. The final published version of this work is available at https://doi.org/10.1007/s00265-017-2424-z
DescriptionOur research was funded by the European Research Council under the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) / ERC grant agreement n° 283871. We acknowledge further funding from the University of Neuchâtel and logistic support from the Santuário do Caraça.
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