Male blue monkey alarm calls encode predator type and distance

Derek Murphy*, Stephen E. G. Lea, Klaus Zuberbuehler

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

There is considerable controversy about what is encoded when primates produce alarm calls to an external event. Results are often compatible with multiple explanations, such as differences in a caller's perceived level of threat, direction of attack or category of predator. Using acoustic predator models, we investigated how male blue monkeys', Cercopithecus mitis stuhlmani, alarm calls were affected by predator type, distance, and elevation. We found that individuals produced two types of acoustically distinct alarm calls, 'pyows' and 'hacks'. Males produced these calls in predator-specific ways, but call rates were also affected by the distance and location of the predator. We discuss these findings in relation to the different predator hunting techniques and two common antipredator strategies pursued by monkeys, predator deterrence and conspecific warning. (C) 2012 The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)119-125
Number of pages7
JournalAnimal Behaviour
Volume85
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2013

Keywords

  • alarm call
  • conspecific warning
  • PRIMATE
  • SYSTEM
  • GUEREZA
  • RESPONSES
  • BEHAVIOR
  • referential communication
  • CAMPBELLS MONKEYS
  • COLOBUS MONKEYS
  • UGANDA
  • COMBINATIONS
  • predator deterrence
  • blue monkey
  • primate
  • vocalization
  • Cercopithecus mitis stuhlmani
  • VOCALIZATIONS

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