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Abstract

I investigated the responses of gibbons (Hylobates muelleri) to male songs played back from different locations but similar distances from the subjects. The gibbons showed spatial variations in response to songs. Mated males led silent group approaches toward songs emanating from the center of the range. Songs delivered from positions along the range periphery elicited either group approaches or duets. Songs played back from within the ranges of neighbors rarely resulted in duetting activity. Location, a contextual factor, is important in determination of the response evoked by song. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that male song plays a role in mediating intergroup spacing among gibbons.