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Context-specific close-range “hoo” calls in wild gibbons (Hylobates lar)

Overview of attention for article published in BMC Evolutionary Biology, April 2015
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About this Attention Score

  • In the top 5% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • Among the highest-scoring outputs from this source (#23 of 2,801)
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (98th percentile)

Mentioned by

12 news outlets
5 blogs
18 tweeters
7 Facebook pages
4 Google+ users
1 video uploader


12 Dimensions

Readers on

98 Mendeley
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Context-specific close-range “hoo” calls in wild gibbons (Hylobates lar)
Published in
BMC Evolutionary Biology, April 2015
DOI 10.1186/s12862-015-0332-2
Pubmed ID

Esther Clarke, Ulrich H Reichard, Klaus Zuberbühler


Close range calls are produced by many animals during intra-specific interactions, such as during home range defence, playing, begging for food, and directing others. In this study, we investigated the most common close range vocalisation of lar gibbons (Hylobates lar), the 'hoo' call. Gibbons and siamangs (family Hylobatidae) are known for their conspicuous and elaborate songs, while quieter, close range vocalisations have received almost no empirical attention, perhaps due to the difficult observation conditions in their natural forest habitats. We found that 'hoo' calls were emitted by both sexes in a variety of contexts, including feeding, separation from group members, encountering predators, interacting with neighbours, or as part of duet songs by the mated pair. Acoustic analyses revealed that 'hoo' calls varied in a number of spectral parameters as a function of the different contexts. Males' and females' 'hoo' calls showed similar variation in these context-specific parameter differences, although there were also consistent sex differences in frequency across contexts. Our study provides evidence that lar gibbons are able to generate significant, context-dependent acoustic variation within their main social call, which potentially allows recipients to make inferences about the external events experienced by the caller. Communicating about different events by producing subtle acoustic variation within some call types appears to be a general feature of primate communication, which can increase the expressive power of vocal signals within the constraints of limited vocal tract flexibility that is typical for all non-human primates. In this sense, this study is of direct relevance for the on-going debate about the nature and origins of vocally-based referential communication and the evolution of human speech.

Twitter Demographics

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Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 98 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
United Kingdom 3 3%
Denmark 2 2%
Brazil 1 1%
France 1 1%
Switzerland 1 1%
Hungary 1 1%
United States 1 1%
Luxembourg 1 1%
Unknown 87 89%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Ph. D. Student 25 26%
Student > Bachelor 16 16%
Researcher 16 16%
Student > Master 14 14%
Other 7 7%
Other 16 16%
Unknown 4 4%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 45 46%
Psychology 13 13%
Social Sciences 10 10%
Neuroscience 3 3%
Environmental Science 2 2%
Other 16 16%
Unknown 9 9%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 150. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 05 March 2019.
All research outputs
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Outputs from BMC Evolutionary Biology
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Outputs of similar age
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Outputs of similar age from BMC Evolutionary Biology
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Altmetric has tracked 17,413,731 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 99th percentile: it's in the top 5% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 2,801 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 10.7. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 99% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 232,810 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 98% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 1 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has scored higher than all of them