Monkeys change their “accent” in the presence of primates of another species

According to a study carried out in the Brazilian Amazon, where the yellow-handed marmoset lives, these animals modify their cry only in the presence of bicolored marmosets, monkeys of a similar species. This “accent change” would allow primates to make themselves understood by neighbors in order to avoid possible conflicts. The explanations of

Let’s focus on… animal accents! In the heart of the Amazon jungle, the researchers became interested in the cries emitted by two species of monkeys whose territories partially overlap. Classified as “Critically Endangered” on the Red List of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the bicolor marmosets – recognizable by the white breast contrasting with the brown rump – survive only in some areas of the city of Manaus (Brazil), where they are forced to share much of their habitat with golden-handed marmosets that occupy most of the northeastern Brazilian Amazon.

Animal Intelligence (AI) has nothing to envy to Artificial Intelligence

🇧🇷 We’ve known for a long time that when the territories of closely related species intersect geographically, there’s a good chance of seeing interesting evolutionary trends. “says Dr. Jacob Dunn, professor of evolutionary biology at the University of Anglia Ruskin (England) and co-author of the study published in the journal Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology🇧🇷 If some species that share the same environment have diverged from each other throughout evolution – such as the Galapagos finches, whose beaks of different sizes and shapes allow each one to access a specific food resource (flowers, seeds, insects, etc.) – others tend, on the contrary, to converge to similar traits. When analyzing the cries emitted by primates to manifest their presence, the researchers observed that the golden-handed tamarins – endowed with greater vocal flexibility – adopted a “ accent close to that of their two-tone neighbors, and that’s only in the territories shared with them.

Birds of the same species have accents depending on where they live.

Michel Kreutzer – Ethologist

🇧🇷 Because these tamarin species rely on similar resources, changing their “accent” in this way could help these small primates more easily identify each other in dense forest and potentially avoid conflict. “, interprets Dr. J. Dunn. Prove, if necessary, that AI (Animal Intelligence) has nothing to envy to AI (Artificial Intelligence)! However, corner convergence was observed only in primary forest, and not in patches of secondary forest. [forêt ayant repoussé après avoir été détruite ou exploitée par l’homme, NDLR]🇧🇷 Less dense, the latter would be more favorable to the propagation of sound, which would avoid the need to “change accent” to be understood. Hence the importance of taking into account the environmental context in the analysis.

Accents on birds, mammals, fish…

If this study is, according to the authors themselves, “ the first to show asymmetric convergence [manifestée par une seule des deux espèces, NDLR] cries in primates », the existence of accents in the animal world was, on the other hand, already proven: « Birds of the same species have accents depending on where they live », confides Michel Kreutzer, ethologist at the University of Nanterre, in Science and Future🇧🇷 🇧🇷 Blue whales in the Southern Hemisphere do not produce the same vocal signals as those in the Northern Hemisphere. adds Flore Samaran, professor-researcher at the National School of Advanced Techniques – Brittany. There are even accents on… cod, according to a British study (2016). A good reason to listen!


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