Songs, Choruses and Countersinging of Kloss' Gibbons (Hylobates klossii) in Siberut Island, Indonesia


Department of Biological Sciences, University of the Pacific, Stockton, Calif. 95211, U.S.A.


This study evaluates the social spacing mechanism of song as it occurs in Kloss' gibbons. The study population included individuals in 13 family groups whose composition and territories were known (Tenaza 1975) plus a number of others. Sonagrams illustrate individual and sexual differences in singing. Sex differences in chorusing, countersinging and other behavior related to song are described. Variations in singing or chorusing or both are related to season, time of day, sex, age, spatial factors and social factors. The adaptive functions of singing, countersinging and chorusing are discussed. It is concluded that: (1) Song is mainly for interterritorial communication between members of the same sex, (2) ♂ -song probably also functions in mate attraction and (3) chorusing is primarily an adaptation reducing predation risk to singing gibbons.