The predator deterrence function of primate alarm calls

Citation
K. Zuberbuhler et al., The predator deterrence function of primate alarm calls, ETHOLOGY, 105(6), 1999, pp. 477-490
Citations number
32
Language
INGLESE
art.tipo
Article
Categorie Soggetti
Animal Sciences","Neurosciences & Behavoir
Journal title
ETHOLOGY
ISSN journal
0179-1613 → ACNP
Volume
105
Issue
6
Year of publication
1999
Pages
477 - 490
Database
ISI
SICI code
0179-1613(199906)105:6<477:TPDFOP>2.0.ZU;2-I
Abstract
It is generally assumed that alarm calls function in intraspecific communic ation, for example to warn close relatives about tbe presence of a predator . However, an alternative hypothesis suggests that, in some cases, signalle rs may also gain fitness benefits in directly communicating to the predator , for example by advertising perception and unprofitability to predators th at depend on unprepared prey. In this study, we show that six monkey specie s in Tai forest, Ivory Coast, produce significantly more alarm calls to leo pards than to chimpanzees, although both are notorious monkey predators. Th e conspicuously high vocalization rates to leopards had adaptive consequenc es for the monkeys. By following a radio-collared leopard, we found that af ter detection and high alarm call rates the leopard gave up its hiding loca tion and left the group significantly faster than would be expected by chan ce. We discuss these data with respect to the various functional hypothesis of alarm call behaviour and conclude that the high alarm call rates to leo pards are part of an anti-predator strategy in primates that may have evolv ed to deter predators that depend on surprise.