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Infantile Calls of Silvery Marmosets (Callithrix argentata melanura) during the first ten weeks

Museu de Ciències Naturals de Barcelona
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  • Communication


INFANTILE CALLS OF SILVERY MARMOSETS (CALLITHRIX A R G E N T A T A M E L A N U R A ) DURING THE FIRST TEN WEEKS Marmosets ant Tamarins are unusual among the Primates in having a monogamous repro- ductive strategy with considerable involve- ment in rearing of young by the father and other offspring (EPPLE, 1975; KLEIMAN, 1977). In family groups that show this social organization, the ontogeny of commu- nication and interaction of youngsters with members of the group is very important. Mo- reover, it has been shown that in family groups of Silvery Marmosets (Callithrix argentata), the loss of vocal communication has a much stronger effect than that of physical or visual one, probably due to the fact that it is used to maintain or reestablish the cohesion of the group in the wild (OME- DES, 1984). Although some studies on the ontogeny of communication of other species of the fa- mily Callitrichidae have been published, very little is known on Callithrix argentata. OME- DES (1981) and BUCHANAN-SMITH (1984) studied the development of visual behaviour and OMEDES (1981) of vocal behaviour. In this study it was found that Silvery Mar- mosets use a highly complex and extensive repertoire for vocal cornmunication, and to describe it, sound units were defined as Elements, and Elements uttered either singly or in close succession as Calls. Apart from the 24 Calls emitted by adults, infant Silvery Marmosets used a another one that was named GECKER. The aim of this work is to study the re- lationship between the ontogeny of GECKER and the few other Calls infants uttered du- ring the first 10 weeks after birth and the development of their social behaviour. The specimens used in this study were kept in the Zoology Department of the Uni- versity College of Wales, Aberystwyth. Al1 the animals lived in groups composed of the ve sets of their offspring. Their husbandry is described by STEVENSON & POOLE (1976). Five infants were studied for 10 weeks after

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