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Université de Neuchâtel

Meaningful call combinations in a non-human primate

Arnold, Kate ; Zuberbühler, Klaus

In: Current Biology, 2008, vol. 18, no. 5, p. R202-R203

Université de Neuchâtel

Female chimpanzees use copulation calls flexibly to prevent social competition

Townsend, Simon W ; Deschner, Tobias ; Zuberbühler, Klaus

In: PLoS ONE, 2008, vol. 3, no. 6, p. e2431

The adaptive function of copulation calls in female primates has been debated for years. One influential idea is that copulation calls are a sexually selected trait, which enables females to advertise their receptive state to males. Male-male competition ensues and females benefit by getting better mating partners and higher quality offspring. We analysed the copulation calling behaviour of...

Université de Neuchâtel

The alarm call system of female Campbell's monkeys

Ouattara, Karim ; Zuberbühler, Klaus ; N'Goran, Koffi J.-N ; Gombert, Jean-Emile

In: Animal Behaviour, 2009, vol. 78, no. 1, p. 35-44

Field studies on male forest guenon alarm-calling behaviour have revealed a number of intricacies about how these primates use vocalizations to protect themselves from predation. In these species, the vocal behaviour of adult females is often different from that of the males, but little systematic work has been done. Here, we describe the alarm call system of female Campbell's monkeys,...

Université de Neuchâtel

Campbell's Monkeys Use Affixation to Alter Call Meaning

Ouattara, Karim ; Lemasson, Alban ; Zuberbühler, Klaus

In: PLoS ONE, 2009, vol. 4, no. 11, p. e7808

Human language has evolved on a biological substrate with phylogenetic roots deep in the primate lineage. Here, we describe a functional analogy to a common morphological process in human speech, affixation, in the alarm calls of free-ranging adult Campbell's monkeys (Cercopithecus campbelli campbelli). We found that male alarm calls are composed of an acoustically variable stem, which...

Université de Neuchâtel

The alarm call system of two species of black-and-white colobus monkeys (Colobus polykomos and Colobus guereza)

Schel, Anne Marijke ; Tranquilli, Sandra ; Zuberbühler, Klaus

In: Journal of Comparative Psychology, 2009, vol. 123, no. 2, p. 136-150

Vervet monkey alarm calling has long been the paradigmatic example of how primates use vocalizations in response to predators. In vervets, there is a close and direct relationship between the production of distinct alarm vocalizations and the presence of distinct predator types. Recent fieldwork has however revealed the use of several additional alarm calling systems in primates. Here, the...

Université de Neuchâtel

Wild chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii) distinguish between different scream types: evidence from a playback study

Slocombe, Katie Elizabeth ; Townsend, Simon W ; Zuberbühler, Klaus

In: Animal Cognition, 2009, vol. 12, no. 3, p. 441-449

When experiencing aggression from group members, chimpanzees commonly produce screams. These agonistic screams are graded signals and vary acoustically as a function of the severity of aggression the caller is facing. We conducted a series of field playback experiments with a community of wild chimpanzees in the Budongo Forest, Uganda, to determine whether individuals could meaningfully...

Université de Neuchâtel

Production of food-associated calls in wild male chimpanzees is dependent on the composition of the audience

Slocombe, Katie E ; Kaller, Tanja ; Turman, Laurel ; Zuberbühler, Klaus

In: Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, 2010, vol. 64, no. 12, p. 1959-1966

Chimpanzees produce acoustically distinct calls when encountering food. Previous research on a number of species has indicated that food-associated calls are relatively widespread in animal communication, and the production of these calls can be influenced by both ecological and social factors. Here, we investigate the factors influencing the production of food-associated calls in wild...

Université de Neuchâtel

Chimpanzees extract social information from agonistic screams

Slocombe, Katie E ; Kaller, Tania ; Call, Josep ; Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig, Germany ; Zuberbühler, Klaus

In: PLoS ONE, 2010, vol. 5, no. 7, p. 1-6

Chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) agonistic screams are graded vocal signals that are produced in a context-specific manner. Screams given by aggressors and victims can be discriminated based on their acoustic structure but the mechanisms of listener comprehension of these calls are currently unknown. In this study, we show that chimpanzees extract social information from these vocal...

Université de Neuchâtel

The Structure of Bonobo Copulation Calls During Reproductive and Non-Reproductive Sex

Clay, Zanna ; Zuberbühler, Klaus

In: Ethology, 2011, vol. 117, no. 12, p. 1158-1169

Copulation calls in primates are usually identified as sexually selected signals that promote the reproductive success of the caller. In this study, we investigated the acoustic structure of copulation calls in bonobos (Pan paniscus), a great ape known for its heightened socio-sexuality. Throughout their cycles, females engage in sexual relations with both males and other females and...

Université de Neuchâtel

Community-specific evaluation of tool affordances in wild chimpanzees

Gruber, Thibaud ; Muller, Martin N ; Reynolds, Vernon ; Zuberbühler, Klaus

In: Scientific Reports, 2011, vol. 1, p. 1-7

The notion of animal culture, defined as socially transmitted community-specific behaviour patterns, remains controversial, notably because the definition relies on surface behaviours without addressing underlying cognitive processes. In contrast, human cultures are the product of socially acquired ideas that shape how individuals interact with their environment. We conducted field...