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Evidence for High Variability in Temporal Features of the Male Coda in Müller's Bornean Gibbons (Hylobates muelleri)




  • Lau, Allison R., Clink, Dena J., Crofoot, Margaret C. and Marshall, Andrew J.


  • Most pair-living primate species engage in duets, wherein males and females produce coordinated vocalizations. Previous analyses of male gibbon contributions to the duet have shown that calls are individually distinct. Here we investigate variation in the temporal and spectral parameters in the male contribution to the duet, also known as the coda, of wild, nonhabituated male Müller's Bornean gibbons (Hylobates muelleri), recorded both opportunistically and as a response to playbacks at the Stability of Altered Forest Ecosystems site in Sabah, Malaysia. We used linear discriminant function analysis to estimate the intra- and interindividual variation in 13 spectral and temporal parameters of the vocalizations (N = 337) of 31 male gibbons. To further understand how call features vary within and between individuals we used a multivariate, variance components model to investigate how variance in features was partitioned at these two levels. We could identify males with a 66% accuracy using leave-one-out cross-validation, a relatively low score compared to female Müller's Bornean gibbons and males of other species. We found that for some features (such as maximum frequency of the notes) most of the variance occurred between males, but for others (specifically total duration of the call and duration of rest in between notes) most of the variance occurred within a single male. Overall, male Müller's Bornean gibbon coda vocalizations showed greater variability relative to their female counterparts, raising questions about potential differences in the function of the male and female contributions to the duet in Müller's Bornean gibbons and the gibbon taxon as a whole.

Published In

Publication Date

  • 2018



Digital Object Identifier (doi)

Additional Document Info

Start Page

  • 670

End Page

  • 684


  • 39


  • 4