Short Communication


, Volume 97, Issue 11, pp 1023-1027

First online:

Speed of call delivery is related to context and caller identity in Campbell’s monkey males

  • Alban LemassonAffiliated withEthologie Animale et Humaine, U.M.R.6552-C.N.R.S Email author 
  • , Karim OuattaraAffiliated withEthologie Animale et Humaine, U.M.R.6552-C.N.R.SLaboratoire de Zoologie et Biologie Animale, Université de CocodyCentre Suisse de Recherches Scientifiques, Taï Monkey Project
  • , Hélène BouchetAffiliated withEthologie Animale et Humaine, U.M.R.6552-C.N.R.S
  • , Klaus ZuberbühlerAffiliated withSchool of Psychology, University of St AndrewsCentre Suisse de Recherches Scientifiques, Taï Monkey Project

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Call rate can be a salient feature in animal communication. Depending on the species, different psychological variables appear to influence call rates but the exact nature of these relationships remains poorly explored. Here, we demonstrate for free-ranging Campbell’s monkeys that the call rates of four different alarm series (termed H, K, K+, and B series) vary systematically as a function of context, associated behaviour, and identity of the caller. K+ series were given more rapidly to predation than non-predation events, K+ and K series more rapidly to visual than auditory predator detection, and H series more rapidly while counterattacking an eagle than staying put. Finally, there were individual differences in B series, suggesting that call rate potentially provides listeners with cues about the caller’s anti-predator behaviour, event type experienced, and his identity.


Prosody Tempo Semantic Loud call Cercopithecus Predation