Volume 4, Issue 2
  • ISSN 1387-5337
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9757
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We investigated the vocal repertoire of a Malagasy primate: the black lemur (Eulemur macaco macaco). The first study allowed the characterization of 16 different vocal signals on the basis of acoustic parameters. Black lemurs emit sparse harmonic sounds, dense harmonic sounds, spectrally structured noise (Beeman, 1998) and a wide variety of grunts. The second study focused on the behavioral context of emission of these signals and used the pre- and post-event histogram method (Douglass and Sudd, 1980; Preuschoft, 1995a). It provides statistical demonstration of the association between a signal and other behaviors of the emitter, thus giving insight into the latter’s motivations. Four signals are linked to affiliative and agonistic interactions. Three signals express a state of alarm, and two appear related to discomfort. Most grunts are linked to contact and signal precisely the emitter’s level of vigilance. Other interdisciplinary communication studies could benefit from methodology and software used here.


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