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Chapter 5: Know your species

Lecture: Know your species

Here we take a step away from SCR methods and have a look at the different sounds that gibbons make.

  • Gibbons are divided into four existing genera.

  • All species of gibbons sing songs or give loud calls whose major functions are to signal occupancy of the group's territory to potential intruders and to promote bonding of the dominant breeding pair.

  • Species of the genera Hylobates and Nomascus engage in singing bouts of up to 30 minutes which consist of sequences of a great call made by the dominant female followed by codas made by the dominant male. Male hooting may occur between these sequences.

  • The three species of the Hoolock genus engage in duets during which males and females give a continuous series of rather non-musical bark-like hoots and screeches or piping notes, with occasional pauses. 

  • The monotypic genus Symphalangus lives in small territorial groups which give regular duets. These are incredibly energetic and raucous and consist of sex-specific screams, booms and barks.

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Continue with Chapter 6

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