Interspecific Responses of Ringtailed Lemurs to Playback of Antipredator Alarm Calls Given by Verreaux's Sifakas

Authors

  • Ryo Oda,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Biological Sciences (Anthropology), Graduate School of Science, The University of Tokyo
    2. Primate Research Institute, Kyoto University
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      Oda, R. & Masataka, N. 1996: Interspecific responses of ringtailed lemurs to playback of antipredator alarm calls given by Verreaux's sifakas. Ethology 102, 441–453.

  • Nobuo Masataka

    1. Department of Biological Sciences (Anthropology), Graduate School of Science, The University of Tokyo
    2. Primate Research Institute, Kyoto University
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      Oda, R. & Masataka, N. 1996: Interspecific responses of ringtailed lemurs to playback of antipredator alarm calls given by Verreaux's sifakas. Ethology 102, 441–453.


Department of Biological Sciences (Anthropology), Graduate School of Science, The University of Tokyo, 7–3–1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113, Japan

Abstract

The ringtailed lemur, Lemur catta, and Verreaux's sifaka, Propithecus verreauxi verreauxi, are diurnal prosimians living sympatrically in Madagascar. Species-specific alarm calls emitted by each of these two species in response to aerial and terrestrial predators differ acoustically. Behavioural responses of ringtailed lemurs evoked by playbacks of conspecific alarm calls differ when the vocalizations were produced in response to aerial predators as opposed to terrestrial predators. We conducted playback experiments on two populations of ringtailed lemurs, using two types of sifaka alarm calls. One population consisted of free-ranging groups which lived sympatrically with sifakas, the other was a colony group which had no contact with sifakas. The results illustrate that the former group of lemurs can perceive what type of predators the sifaka calls refer to, whereas the latter group was not able to recognize the difference in the calls.

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