Date of Award

1-1-2008

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Department

Anthropology

First Advisor

Ford, Susan

Abstract

Long calls are highly stereotyped calls used by primates to communicate across distances; the function of these calls has been debated. Goustard (1983:405) defines them as " ... an extended utterance which has a high degree of structural organization." Habitat structure has been considered a shaping force of the acoustic structure of nonhuman primate long calls as part of the local adaptation hypothesis (Brown et al. 1995). This study examines the effect of phylogeny, habitat density, diet, and social and mating systems as seen through the structure of the fundamental frequency (the lowest frequency of the call; Rogers 2000; Ey, Pfefferle, and Fischer 2007). Results of ANOVA and post hoc tests indicate there are both phylogenetic and habitat-related influences in the acoustic structure of the first phrase (first part of the long call separated from the next by a discrete break). Dietary preferences and social and mating systems are also correlated with acoustic structure.

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