The Response of Adult Orang-Utans to Flanged Male Long Calls: Inferences about Their FunctionMitra Setia T.a, b · van Schaik C.P.c
aFakultas Biology, Universitas Nasional, Jakarta, Indonesia; bBehavioral Biology, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands; cAnthropologisches Institut, Zürich, Switzerland
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Flanged male orang-utans emit loud vocalizations called long calls. In this study, we examined the correlates of variation in long-calling rates among flanged male Sumatran orang-utans, as well as the ranging responses of adult females and flanged males to these long calls. Males that gave calls more often were more likely to approach calls by others. Results bolster a female attraction function of long calls. Flanged males did not significantly avoid or approach long calls. However, males called more when alone than when guarding a female mate, and adult females significantly approached long calls, especially those of the dominant male, and did so regardless of their reproductive state, allowing them to remain within earshot of calling males. The possible selective advantages of this response include avoidance of harassment and infanticide by males. These findings confirm the existence of some form of social organization above the mother-infant unit.
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