The function and mechanisms underlying baboon 'contact' barks

Dorothy Cheney L, Robert Seyfarth M, Ryne Palombit

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

86 Scopus citations


Free-ranging baboons, Papio cynocephalus ursinus, in the Okavango Delta, Botswana, often give loud 'contact' harks when separated from other group members. Although these calls appear to function to maintain contact between widely dispersed animals, individuals apparently do not give contact barks with the intent of informing others of their location. Females are more likely to give a contact bark in the 5 min after they themselves have called than in the 5 min after another female has called. Playback experiments suggest that females primarily 'answer' their close relatives' contact barks when they themselves are separated from other females or at the end of the group progression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)507-518
Number of pages12
JournalAnimal Behaviour
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1996
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Animal Science and Zoology

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