Vocal Ontogeny of the Squirrel Monkey, Saimiri boliviensis peruviensis

  • Maxeen Biben
  • Deborah Bernhards


The vocal behavior of the squirrel monkey (Saimiri sp.) is perhaps the best-studied of the nonhuman primates. The abundant vocal output of this small, easy-to-maintain species falls conveniently within the range of human hearing, making squirrel monkeys unusually amenable to study. Even the infants are very vocal from the first day of life (Biben, 1992; Lieblich et al., 1980). Despite the accessibility of this species, or perhaps because of it, there has historically been less than 100% agreement on both the makeup and usage of the repertoire. To a great extent, these differences represent biases towards a graded (e.g., Maurus et al.,1986; Schott, 1975) versus a categorically discrete output (e.g., Newman, 1985; Winter et al., 1966), with most researchers subscribing to the latter. Early work on individual call types was some of the first in the primate literature to establish (in the isolation peep) individuality, species specificity, and heritability (Newman and Symmes, 1982; Symmes et al.,1979).


Peak Frequency Squirrel Monkey Acoustic Parameter Minimum Frequency Vocal Behavior 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maxeen Biben
    • 1
  • Deborah Bernhards
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory of Comparative Ethology National Institute of Child Health and Human DevelopmentNational Institutes of HealthBethesdaUSA

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