International Journal of Primatology

, Volume 29, Issue 3, pp 641–670 | Cite as

Vocal Repertoire of Cebus capucinus: Acoustic Structure, Context, and Usage

  • Julie J. Gros-Louis
  • Susan E. Perry
  • Claudia Fichtel
  • Eva Wikberg
  • Hannah Gilkenson
  • Susan Wofsy
  • Alex Fuentes


Researchers studying nonhuman primate vocal repertoires suggest that convergent environmental, social, and motivational factors account for intra- and interspecific vocal variation. We provide a detailed overview of the vocal repertoire of white-faced capuchins, including acoustic analyses and contextual information of vocal production and vocal usage by different age-sex classes in social interactions. The repertoire is a mixture of graded and discrete vocalizations. In addition, there is general support for structural variation in vocalizations with changes in arousal level. We also identified several combined vocalizations, which might represent variable underlying motivations. Lastly, by including data on the social contexts and production of vocalizations by different age-sex classes, we provide preliminary information about the function of vocalizations in social interactions for individuals of different rank, age, and sex. Future studies are necessary to explore the function of combined vocalizations and how the social function of vocalizations relate to their acoustic structure, because social use of vocalizations may play an important role in shaping vocal evolution.


capuchin Cebus capucinus communication social behavior vocal repertoire 



All authors received support from The Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology during the analysis phase of the project. The following sources supported J. J. Gros-Louis during data collection: a dissertation research award from the American Psychological Association, an NSF predoctoral research fellowship and an NSF doctoral dissertation improvement grant, and a Vessa Notchev Fellowship from SDE-GWIS and The University of Pennsylvania. The following sources supported S. E. Perry during data collection: The Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, the L.S.B. Leakey Foundation, the National Geographic Society, NSF (NSF-NATO postdoctoral fellowship no. 9633991, a graduate fellowship, and POWRE grant no. 9870429), the Wenner-Gren Foundation, the UCLA Academic Senate, the Rackham (University of Michigan) Graduate School, the Evolution and Human Behavior Program, the University of Michigan Alumnae Society, the Killam Trust, and Sigma Xi. We thank the Costa Rican National Park Service, the Area Conservación Tempisque, the community of San Ramon de Bagaces, Hacienda Pelón de la Bajura, and Brin d'Amour Estates for permission to work in areas of the monkeys' home ranges. J. Anderson, K. Atkins, T. Bishop, F. Campos, G. Dower, M. Duffy, L. Johnson, E. Kennedy, S. Kessler, M. Mendoza F., W. Lammers, T. Lord, W. Meno, J. C. Ordoñez J., N. Parker, B. Pav, K. Potter, K. Pyle, K. Ratliff, H. Ruffler, C. Schmitt, A. Steele, and M. Varley provided assistance in behavioral data collection and recordings. J. Silk wrote the program FOCOBS for data collection. K. Hammerschmidt designed and provided technical assistance for the LMA program.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Julie J. Gros-Louis
    • 1
  • Susan E. Perry
    • 2
    • 3
  • Claudia Fichtel
    • 4
  • Eva Wikberg
    • 5
  • Hannah Gilkenson
    • 2
  • Susan Wofsy
    • 6
  • Alex Fuentes
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Psychological and Brain SciencesIndiana UniversityBloomingtonUSA
  2. 2.Proyecto de MonosGuanacasteCosta Rica
  3. 3.Department of Anthropology, Behavior, Evolution and Culture ProgramUniversity of California–Los AngelesLos AngelesUSA
  4. 4.Department of Behavioral Ecology and SociobiologyGerman Primate CenterGöttingenGermany
  5. 5.Department of AnthropologyUniversity of CalgaryCalgaryCanada
  6. 6.School of International and Public AffairsColumbia UniversityNew YorkUSA

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