The irrelevance of individual discrimination in meerkat alarm calls

  title={The irrelevance of individual discrimination in meerkat alarm calls},
  author={Fabian Schibler and Marta B. Manser},
  journal={Animal Behaviour},
A simple test of vocal individual recognition in wild meerkats
It is argued that this provides the first clear evidence for vocal individual recognition in wild non-primate mammals and hope that this novel experimental design will allow more systematic cross-species comparisons of individual recognition under natural settings.
Within-group vocal differentiation of individuals in the cooperatively breeding apostlebird
It is demonstrated that apostlebirds can differentiate between the calls of other individuals of the same social group using vocal cues alone, biologically relevant as apostlebirds live in complex fission–fusion societies where social groups vary in size, sex ratio, number of breeders, and composition of related and unrelated members.
A comparison of individual distinctiveness in three vocalizations of the dwarf mongoose (Helogale parvula)
It is concluded that dwarf mongoose signalers have undergone selection to facilitate vocal individual recognition, particularly in relation to the species’ isolation call.
All clear? Meerkats attend to contextual information in close calls to coordinate vigilance
This is the first evidence for socially foraging animals using the information encoded within calls, the main adaptive function of which is unrelated to immediate predator encounters, to coordinate their vigilance behaviour, and new insights are provided into the potential cognitive mechanisms underlying anti-predator behaviour.
Cooperative bird differentiates between the calls of different individuals, even when vocalizations were from completely unfamiliar individuals
It is demonstrated that miners could correctly use the spectral features of signals to differentiate between the vocalizations of different individuals, regardless of their familiarity, in a communication system capable of accommodating even the most complex cooperative hypotheses based upon acoustic information.
All clear ? Meerkats attend to contextual information in close calls to coordinate 1 vigilance 2 3
Socio-demographic factors, such as group size, and their effect on predation vulnerability, have, in addition to intrinsic factors, dominated as explanations when attempting to understand animal


Reliability and the adaptive utility of discrimination among alarm callers
The results are consistent with the hypothesis that marmots assess the reliability of callers to help them decide how much time to allocate to independent vigilance and thus the time not allocated to other activities.
The acoustic structure of suricates' alarm calls varies with predator type and the level of response urgency
  • M. Manser
  • Physics
    Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Series B: Biological Sciences
  • 2001
This paper presents an example of a graded alarm call system that combines referential information and also information on the level of urgency, and suggests that, while suricates convey information about thelevel of urgency along a general rule, the referentIAL information about each category of predator type is not encoded in an obvious way.
Individuality and male discrimination of female copulation calls in the yellow baboon
This work analysed the copulation calls of free-ranging yellow baboons to examine whether sufficient acoustic cues existed to broadcast information on the individual identity of the caller, and showed that consorting male baboons were able to discriminate theCopulation call of their consort female from that of another cycling female.
Vocal recognition of individuals and kin in free-ranging rhesus monkeys
F Females' responses to playbacks suggested the additional possibility for categorical recognition of matrilineal kinship, or its correlates, and results indicate an ability for vocal recognition of both individuals and kin.
Individually distinctive odours represent individual conspecifics in rats
This study showed that rats, Rattus norvegicus, are indeed able to recognize conspecifics as individuals and demonstrated that rats perceive olfactory sig- natures as representations of known individuals.
The information that receivers extract from alarm calls in suricates
This study tested whether receivers respond appropriately when hearing a call in the absence of a predator, and found that subjects responded differently to alarm calls given in response to aerial or terrestrial predators and to recruitment calls emitted in Response to snakes and deposits on the ground.
The function of mobbing in cooperative meerkats
Assessment of meaning and the detection of unreliable signals by vervet monkeys