The 82nd Annual Meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists (2013)


Acoustic Determination on the Dialects of Wild Chimpanzee (P.t. verus) Calls in Sierra Leone

ANDREW R. HALLORAN1, CHRISTINA T. CLOUTIER2, TORJIA S. KARIMU3 and SAMA MONDE3.

1College of Arts & Sciences, Lynn University, 2Department of Anthropology, University of Utah, 3Research and Conservation, Conservation Society of Sierra Leone

Saturday 2:00-2:15, 200ABC Add to calendar

In an attempt to determine the effects of acoustic parameters on the group-specific vocalizations of chimpanzees, we undertook a project whereby we recorded and analyzed the calls of four groups of wild chimpanzees (P.t. verus) in four acoustically distinct areas in Sierra Leone. Concurrently, we measured the acoustic parameters of barometric pressure, average sound level, humidity, and the geometry of the habitat. Each vocalization was measured using Fourier analysis for spectral peak energy and frequency; as well as for form and duration. Preliminary data suggests that chimpanzees in areas of substantially more acoustic attenuation are accommodating these obstacles by utilizing longer vocalizations at a lower frequency. This foundational difference may be the catalyst for dialects in chimpanzee vocal communication. The implications of this data shed light on our understanding on how dialect differences may begin as a simple accommodation to acoustic pressures.

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