A description of the orangutan's vocal and sound repertoire, with a focus on geographic variation

Madeleine E. Hardus*, Adriano R. Lameira, Ian Singleton, Helen C. Morrogh-Bernard, Cheryl D. Knott, Marc Ancrenaz, S. Suci Utami Atmoko, Serge A. Wich

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

27 Citations (Scopus)


This chapter provides an overview of the sounds and vocalizations that Sumatran and Bornean orangutans produce. The current data set indicates that there are at least 32 different orangutan sounds and vocalizations that can be distinguished. Interestingly enough not all of these are produced by all individuals in all populations and several occur only in certain populations, but not in others. These preliminary findings indicate that there might be socially learned variation in orangutan sounds and that the cultural domain includes sounds. Future studies should examine such possibilities in detail.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationOrangutans
Subtitle of host publicationGeographic Variation in Behavioral Ecology and Conservation
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780191707568
ISBN (Print)9780199213276
Publication statusPublished - 2008


  • Acoustic
  • Bornean orangutans
  • Culture
  • Geography
  • Sumatran orangutans

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