Showing posts with label monkey mondays. Show all posts
Showing posts with label monkey mondays. Show all posts

Monday, March 14, 2011

Semantics of Monkey Alarm Calls

We are gonna start using Mondays for sharing breakthroughs in the primate world (at least the ones we think relate to Bigfooting). While we know there is a debate about whether Bigfoot is a man/animal/primate, and strong arguments for each theory, we think our best model for Bigfoot are other primates.

So what's new in the world of primatology? The semantics of alarm calls. This ties in great with most of the recorded Sasquatch vocalizations we have. This excludes the Sierra Sounds. We covered the potential Sasquatch language discovered in the Sierra Sounds in another post last year. Our feeling is the Sierra Sounds are from acclimated Sasquatch, due to the fact that they were recorded in the same location over a long period of time. After all, it takes a while for a primates, and even humans, to get comfortable enough to converse around "strangers". Alarm calls are different, and the majority of recorded vocalizations are, most likely, alarm calls.

How else can I tell I'm hearing alarm calls?
According to "Alarm calls are typically high frequency sounds because these calls are hard to localized by predators. On the other hand, low frequency sounds are easier to localized by predators.

What is even more interesting, these alarm calls may be innate, meaning they are coded within the DNA of the species. In studying, "Monkey Responses to Three Different Alarm Calls: Evidence of Predator Classification and Semantic Communication," three groups of Vervet Monkeys were identified as making similar calls for similar predator warnings:

We refer to these three calls as leopard, eagle, and snake alarms. Leopard alarms were short tonal calls, typically produced in a series on both exhalation and inhalation. Eagle alarms were low-pitched, staccato grunts, and snake alarms were high-pitched "chutters."

The study continued to explain how each type of call elicited a different physical response:
When monkeys were on the ground, leopard alarms caused them to run up into trees, where they appeared to be safest from the ambush style of attack typical of leopards. Eagle alarms caused them to look up, run into dense bush, or both, apparently to avoid an eagle's stoop. And snake alarms caused them to look down at the ground around them. Such responses suggested that each alarm call effectively represented, or signified, a different class of external danger.

Vervet are not the only monkeys with these same alarm call traits. If alarm calls were exclusive to vervet monkeys, than it wouldn't have a high value to Bigfooting. Other Monkeys include white-faced capuchins, campbell's monkeys, diana monkeys and more.

While we need a lot more evidence to determine if any of this is helpful to Bigfooting, we feel primatology has come a long way since wood-knocking and it wouldn't hurt to begin to incorporate some of the other traits shared by multiple species of primates.

Your thoughts?

The Semantics of Vervet Monkey Alarm Calls: Part I
Alarm calls of white-faced capuchin monkeys: an acoustic analysis
Monkey Responses to Alarm Calls

Sasquatch Phonetic Alphabet Documents

What Color is Bigfoot's World?
Bigfoot Knows what your thinking--or feeling.
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