Supplementary material from "Flexible use of contact calls in a species with high fission–fusion dynamics"

Posted on 23.06.2022 - 08:13
The ‘social complexity hypothesis' posits that complex social systems (that entail high uncertainty) require complex communicative systems (with high vocal flexibility). In species with fission–fusion dynamics, where the fluid composition of temporary subgroups increases the uncertainty with which group members must manage their social relationships, vocal communication must be particularly flexible. This study assessed whether contact call rates vary with caller and audience characteristics in free-living spider monkeys, as well as with fission and fusion events. Adult females and immature individuals called more when in small audience settings, while audience size did not influence adult males. Adults called more when in the presence of the opposite sex, whereas immatures vocalized more in subgroups composed only by females. Females also called more when with their mature sons. We found higher call rates in periods during which fission and fusion events took place than in periods with more stable compositions and when the composition after a fission or fusion event changed from one sex to two sexes. A flexible use of contact calls allows individuals to identify themselves when they join others, particularly if they are members of the opposite sex. This socio-spatial cohesion function reduces the uncertainty about subgroup composition.This article is part of the theme issue ‘Cognition, communication and social bonds in primates’.

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Margarita, Briseño-Jaramillo; Roberto, Sosa-López José; Gabriel, Ramos-Fernández; Alban, Lemasson (2022): Supplementary material from "Flexible use of contact calls in a species with high fission–fusion dynamics". The Royal Society. Collection. https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.c.6060636.v1
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