Female Songs Of The Nonduetting Javan Gibbons (Hylobates moloch) Function For Territorial Defense

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Susan Lappan PhD, Associate Professor (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
Web Site: https://library.appstate.edu/

Abstract: Duets in territorial, pair-living primates may function to maintain intragroup cohesion, promote intergroup avoidance, and assist in territorial and resource defense, as well as advertising and reinforcing pair bonds. Despite the absence of duetting in Javan gibbons (Hylobates moloch), recent playback experiments suggested that Javan gibbon songs also play a role in pair-bond advertisement as well as territorial and mate defense. However, playback experiments only assess motivations of the listener, which may not reflect the motivations of the caller. We conducted an observational study of naturally occurring female songs in two groups of Javan gibbons from July 2009 to March 2010 and from March to November 2011 in Gunung Halimun–Salak National Park, Indonesia. We investigated female singing rates in relation to singing location, daily path length, occurrence of intergroup encounters, feeding rate, allogrooming rate, and distance between pair mates. The two females produced 47 songs during 164 observation days. Females in the area of their home range that overlapped with neighboring groups sang more frequently than expected based on time spent in the area of overlap vs. the home range interior. Groups also had longer daily path lengths on days when females sang than on nonsinging days, and on days when they visited the area of overlap than on nonvisiting days. Our findings indicate that, like the duets of other pair-living territorial primates, female Javan gibbon songs function for territorial defense, but we found no support for other functions such as intergroup avoidance, resource defense, and pair-bond reinforcement.

Additional Information

Ham, S., Lappan, S., Hedwig, D. et al. Female Songs of the Nonduetting Javan Gibbons (Hylobates moloch) Function for Territorial Defense. Int J Primatol 38, 533–552 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10764-017-9964-y. Publisher version of record available at: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10764-017-9964-y
Language: English
Date: 2017
Nonduetting gibbons, Primate long-distance calls, Ranging behavior, Social monogamy, Song functions

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