, 39:1 | Cite as

Flexibility in the species-typical songs of gibbons

  • Maury M. Haraway
  • Ernest G. Maples


Flexibility, or a capacity for situational variation, is an important characteristic of gibbon vocalization—one which may be seen as necessary to the functional effectiveness of species-typical songs. This paper reviews literature reporting flexibility of gibbon vocal behavior in relation to reinforcement contingencies, the singing of neighboring gibbons, development of pair coordination in the duet-singing of siamang gibbons, sequential progression in the elaboration of organizing sequences in siamang gibbons, and “repairs” of organizing and great-call sequences. A theoretical framework to account for the development of flexibility in species-typical behaviors is drawn on the basis ofGlickman's andSchiff's (1967) proposal of the reinforcing power of species-typical behaviors and associated feedback and consequent stimuli.

Key Words

Gibbons Reinforcement Species-typical behavior Variability Vocal behavior 


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Copyright information

© Japan Monkey Centre 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maury M. Haraway
    • 1
  • Ernest G. Maples
    • 1
  1. 1.College of Education, Psychology DepartmentNortheast Louisiana UniversityMonroeUSA

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