International Journal of Primatology

, Volume 24, Issue 2, pp 415–446 | Cite as

Spectrographic Description of Vocalizations in Captive Otolemur garnettii

  • Michelle L. Becker
  • Eugene H. Buder
  • Jeannette P. Ward


To advance knowledge of the vocal communication associated with close proximity social interactions in Garnett's greater bush baby (Otolemur garnettii), we measured acoustic and temporal properties of vocalizations from videotaped recordings of captives in two main social contexts: mother-infant interactions and adult male-female pair introductions and reintroductions. We used a real-time sonagraph or software program to display, edit, and analyze vocal waveforms, and to provide wideband and narrowband spectrograms. Vocalization characteristics measured include fundamental frequency (via inspection of harmonics) and spectral features such as formant frequency, intensity, and duration. The vocal repertoire contained 4 major types of vocalizations: 1) barks and complex multiple bark sequences, 2) low frequency flutter/hums and growls, 3) high frequency clicks and spits, and 4) noisy shrieks. We describe several vocalizations for the first time and provide a clear classification of some of them on the basis of call durations (long/short growls). Complex bark sequences, previously described as distant communication calls, were invariant and were not often emitted by individuals when in close proximity. When classified spectrographically, the remaining 3 call types, which occurred when individuals were in close proximity, were less stereotypical, and gradations within call types were apparent. Our results show that although nocturnal and non-gregarious, complex communicatory signals of bush babies constitute a vocal repertoire formerly thought to be characteristic only of diurnal, gregarious primates.

Garnett's greater bush baby galago vocal communication spectrograms prosimian 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michelle L. Becker
    • 1
  • Eugene H. Buder
    • 2
  • Jeannette P. Ward
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyThe University of MemphisMemphis
  2. 2.School of Audiology and Speech-Language PathologyThe University of MemphisMemphis

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