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Rudimentary Representational Vocal Signalling of Fellow Group Members in Spider Monkeys

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Spider monkeys vocalize trills to each other when they attempt to make contact. These vocalizations have traditionally been considered to be a manifestation of a particular level of arousal in animals. Playback experiments suggest, however, that each group member is able to distinguish trills to which he originally responded from others, and that anticipation of responding animals is possible by voice alone in every animal on a truly individual basis. Results indicate that trills given by spider monkeys may function in a rudimentary representational manner to designate fellow group members.

Affiliations: 1: (Department of Ethology, Osaka University Suita, Osaka 565, Japan


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