Primates- a particular sub-group of mammals that include lemurs, lorises, tarsiers, monkeys, apes, and humans.
Primates have special features like relatively large, complex brain, forward-facing eyes with overlapping fields of view that allow depth perception, long childhood that extends well beyond weaning, just to name but a few.
Now, have you ever changed your behaviour due to societal pressure? Definitely yes, and you are not alone.
A new research has established that monkeys entering the territory of a different species change their behaviour to better understand one another.
The study, published in the journal Behavioural Ecology and Sociobiology, examined the behaviour of 15 groups of pied tamarins and red-handed tamarins (squirrel-sized New World monkeys) living in Brazil’s Amazon rainforest.
Red-handed tamarins, the study says, have “greater vocal flexibility” and use calls more often than their pied counterparts, who use long call to communicate unlike other group.
Red-handed monkeys adopted long call
Yet when the red-handed primates entered a territory shared with pied tamarins, the research continues, they also adapted long call. The research which also involved the Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) reveals.
“We found that only the red-handed tamarins change their calls to those of the pied tamarins, and this only happens in places where they occur together,” the study’s lead author Tainara Sobroza, of Brazil’s National Institute of Amazonian Research, said in a statement Wednesday.
“Why their calls converge in this way is not certain, but it is possibly to help with identification when defending territory or competing over resources.”
According to Jacob Dunn, associate professor in evolutionary biology at ARU, says that in some cases, rather than diverging to become more different from one another, some closely related species converge to show similar traits.
“Because these tamarin species rely on similar resources, changing their ‘accents’ in this way is likely to help these tiny primates identify one another more easily in dense forest and potentially avoid conflict,” said Dunn.
“Our results suggest that both social and environmental pressures are important in shaping primate calls,” the group of researchers wrote.
In February 2021, another research revealed that marmosets can understand conversations between other monkeys and judge whether they want to interact with them.
“These marmosets are not just passive observers of third-party interactions, they really interpret and understand what third parties are doing,” said the research.