Captive-born cotton-top tamarins (Saguinus oedipus) respond similarly to vocalizations of predators and sympatric nonpredators

Sagan Friant, Matthew W. Campbell, Charles T. Snowdon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

What types of cues do callitrichid primates use to detect and respond to predators? Do they respond to predator-specific cues or to more general cues? The evidence for these questions remains conflicting. We presented captive-born and reared cotton-top tamarins with no previous exposure to predators (or predator cues) with vocalizations from three potential predators of cotton-top tamarin in the wild (white hawk, jaguar, and tayra) and with vocalizations from sympatric nonpredators (black-faced antthrush and red howler monkey). Vocalizations from predators and from nonpredator mammals elicited equivalent arousal, fear, and vocal responses. Howler monkey roars produced the strongest responses. The results suggest that predator-naïve cotton-top tamarins do not recognize specific predator vocalizations, but may respond to vocal qualities (low-frequency, noisy sounds) that indicate large body size, threat, or aggression. On the other hand, tamarins responded much more strongly to the higher frequency calls from the hawk than the antthrush, suggesting another mechanism must also be involved. The failure of captive-reared tamarins to distinguish between vocalizations of predators and nonpredator mammals has important implications for reintroduction studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)707-710
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican journal of primatology
Volume70
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2008

Fingerprint

Saguinus oedipus
vocalization
cotton
predator
predators
Alouatta
hawks
Callitrichidae
mammal
mammals
Panthera onca
reintroduction
aggression
fearfulness
primate
body size
Primates

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Animal Science and Zoology

Cite this

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abstract = "What types of cues do callitrichid primates use to detect and respond to predators? Do they respond to predator-specific cues or to more general cues? The evidence for these questions remains conflicting. We presented captive-born and reared cotton-top tamarins with no previous exposure to predators (or predator cues) with vocalizations from three potential predators of cotton-top tamarin in the wild (white hawk, jaguar, and tayra) and with vocalizations from sympatric nonpredators (black-faced antthrush and red howler monkey). Vocalizations from predators and from nonpredator mammals elicited equivalent arousal, fear, and vocal responses. Howler monkey roars produced the strongest responses. The results suggest that predator-na{\"i}ve cotton-top tamarins do not recognize specific predator vocalizations, but may respond to vocal qualities (low-frequency, noisy sounds) that indicate large body size, threat, or aggression. On the other hand, tamarins responded much more strongly to the higher frequency calls from the hawk than the antthrush, suggesting another mechanism must also be involved. The failure of captive-reared tamarins to distinguish between vocalizations of predators and nonpredator mammals has important implications for reintroduction studies.",
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Captive-born cotton-top tamarins (Saguinus oedipus) respond similarly to vocalizations of predators and sympatric nonpredators. / Friant, Sagan; Campbell, Matthew W.; Snowdon, Charles T.

In: American journal of primatology, Vol. 70, No. 7, 01.07.2008, p. 707-710.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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