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A pilot study of calling patterns and vocal turn-taking in wild bonobos Pan paniscus

Abstract : In several species of non-human primates, non-agonistic vocal exchanges can be seen as a primitive form of conversation, as they respect basic temporal rules (i.e. turn-taking, overlap avoidance), the same as those that guide human conversations. Conversational rules have recently been suggested in captive great ape species, yet the only study investigating vocal turn-taking in wild great apes did not find any evidence of such vocal roles. Whether the environmental conditions (captivity versus free ranging) or the social organisation of a given species shape temporally ruled vocal exchanges remain open questions. Here, we investigated general calling patterns of peaceful vocal exchanges in a wild bonobo community. This pilot study revealed that wild bonobos respect the fundamental temporal rules of vocal turn-taking, namely the avoidance of overlapping and the presence of short call-intervals between interlocutors on the order of 2 sec, corroborating findings from captive bonobos. Despite the limited sample size, our finding suggests that vocal exchanges appear context-dependent but neither age nor sex seem to influence their occurrence. While further studies are needed to confirm these observations, this study helps to fill a major gap in research on the vocal communication of wild great apes, paving the way for more extensive comparative studies, representing a further step towards a better understanding of how vocal turn-taking arose in humans.
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Contributor : Laurent Jonchère Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Friday, May 20, 2022 - 2:40:58 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, June 14, 2022 - 12:21:45 PM


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Clement Cornec, Muzungu Ngofuna, Alban Lemasson, Claude Monghiemo, Victor Narat, et al.. A pilot study of calling patterns and vocal turn-taking in wild bonobos Pan paniscus. Ethology Ecology and Evolution, Taylor & Francis, 2022, 34 (3), pp.360-377. ⟨10.1080/03949370.2022.2044387⟩. ⟨hal-03658024⟩



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