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Age- and sex-specific patterns of vocal behavior in De Brazza's monkeys (Cercopithecus neglectus)

Abstract : Although vocal production is strongly genetically determined in nonhuman primates, vocal usage is more likely to be influenced by experience. Nonetheless, sex differences in both production and usage can be found in the vocal repertoire of adults, but little attention has been paid to their ontogeny. Here, we provide the first comprehensive analysis of the vocal repertoire of De Brazza's monkeys (Cercopithecus neglectus), with particular attention to age- and sex-specific patterns. This species has special interest because it is the only monogamous species of guenons, but it nevertheless shares the strong sexual morphological and behavioral dimorphism seen in other guenons. A structurally based classification of calls recorded in 23 captive individuals has been cross-validated by an analysis of the associated contexts of emission. We identified sound units that could be uttered alone or concatenated to form 10 call types, including only three types shared by all age-sex-classes. Both age- and sex-discrepancy in terms of phonation could be explained by maturational changes and morphological dimorphism. In general, call production and usage parallel those seen in other guenons, suggesting that phylogeny and sexual dimorphism play important roles in vocal communication in this species. However, the boundary between adult male and female vocal repertoires appeared to be less strict than previously reported, suggesting that both sexes have the capacity to produce calls of the other sex but that social roles may constrain this expression. Similarly, age-specific vocal patterns would reflect respective social roles, and experience to some extent. Finally, calling rates would reflect age-/sex-specific degree of involvement in intragroup social networks. These findings highlight the relative importance of phylogeny, morphology, and social system on the shaping of individual repertoires in nonhuman primates.
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Contributor : Laurent Jonchère Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Thursday, July 10, 2014 - 2:54:58 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, October 19, 2021 - 11:34:49 PM

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Hélène Bouchet, Catherine Blois-Heulin, Alban Lemasson. Age- and sex-specific patterns of vocal behavior in De Brazza's monkeys (Cercopithecus neglectus). American Journal of Primatology, Wiley, 2012, 74 (1), pp.12--28. ⟨10.1002/ajp.21002⟩. ⟨hal-01022543⟩



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