Academic journal article Borneo Research Bulletin

Diploma Thesis: The Long Calls of Wild Male Orangutans: A Phylogenetic Approach

Academic journal article Borneo Research Bulletin

Diploma Thesis: The Long Calls of Wild Male Orangutans: A Phylogenetic Approach

Article excerpt

2004, The Long Calls of Wild Male Orangutans: A Phylogenetic Approach. Diploma thesis, Zoological Institute, Tierarztliche Hochschule Hannover, 74 pp.

Although several genetic, molecular, and morphological studies were carried out to clarify orangutan systematics, ongoing taxonomic controversies still exist. This project shows a new approach to orangutan phylogeny with focus on their long calls. Presented by numerous works, analyses on species-specific loud calls of primates can help to understand phylogenetic influences and to reconstruct taxonomy. Orangutan males produce long calls to regulate inter-male spacing and to attract mates.

Since samples needed to be pooled from dispersed orangutan populations and recordings from Northwest Borneo were not at my disposal, I collected the missing data myself in Batang Ai National Park, Sarawak. During this field work, 4.3 long calls were heard a day [+ or -] at least 290% more calls than anywhere else reported. This rate reflects a high population density due to the profusion of empili fruit (Lithocarpus sp.). Additionally, compared to other populations, Batang Ai orangutans vocalize more often during the night. Presumably, this time offers males of lesser rank the opportunity to compete acoustically with more dominant individuals. …

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