Function of grunts, girneys and coo calls of Japanese macaques (Macaca fuscata) in relation to call usage, age and dominance relationships

In: Behaviour
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  • 1 Graduate School of Human Sciences, Osaka University, 1-2 Yamadaoka, Suita, Osaka 565-0871, Japan
  • 2 Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science, 5-3-1 Kojimachi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 102-0083, Japan

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We investigated how the context of the production of vocalizations used in social interactions among Japanese macaques (Macaca fuscata) affects their outcome. We focused on a variety of soft vocalizations, including three acoustically distinct call types: grunts, girneys, and coo calls. We predicted that call outcomes would be influenced by call combinations and exchanges, and by the relationship between the caller and the recipient. We observed social interactions among female Japanese macaques, and found that individuals were less likely to initiate agonistic behaviour when they emitted calls. Call exchanges and call combinations increased the occurrence of affiliative interactions. The probability of affiliative interaction following a given type of call differed according to the relationship between the caller and the recipient. These findings suggest that recipients interpret these calls within a social context; they also demonstrate the existence of complex communicative abilities that integrate vocalizations and context in these monkeys.

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