Preliminary observations on squirrel monkey (Saimiri oerstedi) vocalizations in Costa Rica

S. Boinski, J. D. Newman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


This study was an initial attempt to analyze quantitatively vocalizations from the Central American squirrel monkey, Saimiri oerstedi. Vocalizations were recorded in the wild at P. N. Corcovado (S. o. oerstedi). and at P. N. Manuel Antonio (S. o. citrinellus). Additional recordings were made from captive individuals of both subspecies. The acoustic structure of analyzed vocalizations resembled most closely the vocal repertoire of South American Saimiri with the “gothic arch” phenotype, in agreement with the prominent gothic arch facial pattern of S. oerstedi. New structural subtypes of the twitter (“dog‐tooth twitter”) and the chuck (“bent‐mast chuck”) not previously found in an extensive library of South American Saimiri sound spectrograms were documented. Calls used by older infants when socially separated and when approaching an adult male were essentially identical (sharing typical “isolation peep” structural features) but had significantly different duration and peak frequency. Analysis of recordings from an escaped captive female calling outside her compound over a 3‐day period indicated the presence of numerous structural intermediates between typical chuck, twitter, and peep calls.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)329-343
Number of pages15
JournalAmerican Journal of Primatology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1988
Externally publishedYes


  • New World primate
  • primate communication
  • Saimiri
  • vocal communication

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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