Song Complexity Increases During White Handed Gibbon (Hylobates Lar) Duets

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Gibbons are unique among the apes because mated pairs regularly sing in organized duets, and because the male’s song phrases increase in complexity during duets and solo bouts. These increases in complexity have not been systematically quantified for any gibbon species. Here we describe and quantify these changes to the male song, from recordings of a wild population of white-handed gibbons (Hylobates lar). We found that the number of notes in male coda phrases increased over the course of song bouts, as did their maximum fundamental frequency. Our analysis of individual syllable types within the coda phrase revealed that male-specific note types, trill and quaver notes, increased in amount and in duration, respectively, within song bouts.


Eastern Colleges Science Conference, Wilkes-Barre, PA (April 2017) E-133. Program retrieved from

Mentored by Professor Thomas Terleph.

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