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Title: Vocal behaviour of the common marmoset : structure and function of selected calls.
Author: Jones, Belinda Sumner.
Awarding Body: Royal Holloway, University of London
Current Institution: Royal Holloway, University of London
Date of Award: 1993
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The vocal behaviour of the captive common marmoset, Callithrix jacchus jacchus, was investigated with particular reference to three call types; phee, twitter and trill calls. The aim of the study was to determine the functional significance of these vocalizations by relating the behavioural and social contexts of calling to the detailed acoustic structure of each call type. The study first examined the effects of housing environment and social status within family groups on vocal and related behaviours. Each call type was found to be given in distinctly different circumstances and at differing rates according to the status of the vocalizer and the social and physical environment in which the call was given. The role of vocal communication in the establishment and maintenance of male-female pairs was also examined. Newly formed pairs were monitored for the initiation of vocal contact and subsequent call exchange. Changes in levels of interaction were most evident in measures of vocal behaviour. Partners in both new and established pairs appeared to exchange trill calls when in close proximity and exchange phee calls when separated. Finally, the study examined vocalizations for individual, gender and contextual differences in acoustic structure. Quantitative analysis revealed individual differences in phee, twitter and trill call structure indicating that these calls carry information on the identity of the vocalizer. Phee and trill calls also showed considerable intra-individual variation under changing social conditions, suggesting that these vocalizations may also convey information on the caller's internal state. In addition, differential responses to playbacks of twitter calls demonstrated the recognition of structural differences present in this call type. These results indicate that the functions of vocal signals in the common marmoset are complex and confirm that vocal communication plays an important role in influencing social interactioris in this species.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Zoology