Individuality in coo calls of adult male golden snub-nosed monkeys (Rhinopithecus roxellana) living in a multilevel society

Penglai Fan, Ruoshuang Liu, Cyril C. Grueter, Fang Li, Feng Wu, Tianpeng Huang, Hui Yao, Dingzhen Liu, Xuecong Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Vocal individuality is a prerequisite for individual recognition, especially when visual and chemical cues are not available or effective. Vocalizations encoding information of individual identity have been reported in many social animals and should be particularly adaptive for species living in large and complexly organized societies. Here, we examined the individuality in coo calls of adult male golden snub-nosed monkeys (Rhinopithecus roxellana) living in a large and multilevel society. Coo calls are one of the most frequently occurring call types in R. roxellana and likely serve as the signals for contact maintenance or advertisement in various contexts including group movement, foraging, and resting. From April to October 2016, April to July 2017, and September to October 2017, we recorded a total of 721 coo calls from six adult males in a provisioned, free-ranging group and one adult male in captivity in Shennongjia National Park, China. We selected 162 high-quality recordings to extract 14 acoustic parameters based on the source-filter theory. Results showed that each of all parameters significantly differed among individuals, while pairwise comparisons failed to detect any parameter that was different between all pairs. Furthermore, a discriminant function analysis indicated that the correct assignment rate was 80.2% (cross-validation: 67.3%), greater than expected by chance (14.3%). In conclusion, we found evidence that coo calls of adult male R. roxellana allowed the reliable accuracy of individual discrimination complementarily enhanced by multiple acoustic parameters. The results of our study point to the selective pressures acting on individual discrimination via vocal signals in a highly gregarious forest-living primate.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71-79
Number of pages9
JournalAnimal Cognition
Volume22
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 16 Jan 2019

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