Animal acoustic communication often takes the form of complex sequences, composed of multiple distinct acoustic units, which can vary in their degree of stereotypy. Studies of sequence variation may contribute to our understanding of the structural flexibility of primates' songs, which can provide essential ecological and behavioral information about variability at the individual, population, and specific level and provide insights into the mechanisms and drivers responsible for the evolutionary change of communicative traits. Several methods have been used for investigating different levels of structural information and sequence similarity in acoustic displays. We studied intra and interindividual variation in the song structuring of a singing primate, the indri (Indri indri), which inhabits the montane rain forests of Madagascar. Indri groups emit duets and choruses in which they combine long notes, short single units, and phrases consisting of a variable number of units (from two to six) with slightly descending frequency. Males' and females' contributions to the song differ in the temporal and frequency structure of song units and repertoire size. We calculated the similarity of phrase organization across different individual contributions using the Levenshtein distance, a logic distance that expressed the minimum cost to convert a sequence into another and can measure differences between two sequences of data. We then analyzed the degree of similarity within and between individuals and found that: (a) the phrase structure of songs varied between reproductive males and females: female structuring of the song showed a higher number of phrases if compared to males; (b) male contributions to the song were overall more similar to those of other males than were female contributions to the song of other females; (c) male contributions were more stereotyped than female contributions, which showed greater individual flexibility. The picture emerging from phrase combinatorics in the indris is in agreement with previous findings of rhythmic features and song repertoire size of the indris, which also suggested that female songs are potentially less stereotyped than those of males.

Sexually dimorphic phrase organization in the song of the indris (Indri indri)

Zanoli, Anna
First
;
De Gregorio, Chiara;Valente, Daria;Torti, Valeria;Bonadonna, Giovanna;Randrianarison, Rose Marie;Giacoma, Cristina;Gamba, Marco
Last
2020-01-01

Abstract

Animal acoustic communication often takes the form of complex sequences, composed of multiple distinct acoustic units, which can vary in their degree of stereotypy. Studies of sequence variation may contribute to our understanding of the structural flexibility of primates' songs, which can provide essential ecological and behavioral information about variability at the individual, population, and specific level and provide insights into the mechanisms and drivers responsible for the evolutionary change of communicative traits. Several methods have been used for investigating different levels of structural information and sequence similarity in acoustic displays. We studied intra and interindividual variation in the song structuring of a singing primate, the indri (Indri indri), which inhabits the montane rain forests of Madagascar. Indri groups emit duets and choruses in which they combine long notes, short single units, and phrases consisting of a variable number of units (from two to six) with slightly descending frequency. Males' and females' contributions to the song differ in the temporal and frequency structure of song units and repertoire size. We calculated the similarity of phrase organization across different individual contributions using the Levenshtein distance, a logic distance that expressed the minimum cost to convert a sequence into another and can measure differences between two sequences of data. We then analyzed the degree of similarity within and between individuals and found that: (a) the phrase structure of songs varied between reproductive males and females: female structuring of the song showed a higher number of phrases if compared to males; (b) male contributions to the song were overall more similar to those of other males than were female contributions to the song of other females; (c) male contributions were more stereotyped than female contributions, which showed greater individual flexibility. The picture emerging from phrase combinatorics in the indris is in agreement with previous findings of rhythmic features and song repertoire size of the indris, which also suggested that female songs are potentially less stereotyped than those of males.
2020
e23132
1
8
https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1002/ajp.23132
Levenshtein distance; language evolution; primates; singing; syntax
Zanoli, Anna; De Gregorio, Chiara; Valente, Daria; Torti, Valeria; Bonadonna, Giovanna; Randrianarison, Rose Marie; Giacoma, Cristina; Gamba, Marco
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2318/1736268
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