The function and mechanisms of alarm calls, lost calls and close contact calls in the white-faced capuchin (Cebus capucinus)
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AbstractThe goal of animal communication research is often to identify the meaning and function of vocal signals. My analysis of white-faced capuchin alarm calls suggests two different types, "aerial" and "terrestrial", however, it does not provide support for any one traditional hypothesis (motivational, referential, affect-induction). Instead it suggests an integration of hypotheses; motivationally based calls allow functionally distinct responses via effects on listener attention. Analysis of lost calls suggests they provide cues to location and individual identity, facilitating antiphonal responses from receivers, which then provide mutual benefits. Finally, my analysis of close contact "huh" calls suggest, due to cues to identity and call frequency in close proximity situations, that calls facilitate within-group spacing. Overall, my research provides an integration of theoretical concepts, through analysis of the mechanisms and function of capuchin alarm calls. Additionally, analysis of lost and "huh" calls provides a better understanding of the white-faced capuchin vocal repertoire.
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