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  Chest beats as an honest signal of body size in male mountain gorillas (Gorilla beringei beringei)

Wright, E., Grawunder, S., Ndayishimiye, E., Galbany, J., McFarlin, S. C., Stoinski, T. S., et al. (2021). Chest beats as an honest signal of body size in male mountain gorillas (Gorilla beringei beringei). Scientific Reports, 11: 6879. doi:10.1038/s41598-021-86261-8.

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Wright_Chest_SciRep_2021.pdf (Publisher version), 2MB
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Tis article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. Te images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

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Wright, Edward1, Author              
Grawunder, Sven2, Author              
Ndayishimiye, Eric, Author
Galbany, Jordi, Author
McFarlin, Shannon C., Author
Stoinski, Tara S., Author
Robbins, Martha M.1, Author              
Affiliations:
1Gorillas, Department of Primatology, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Max Planck Society, ou_2149637              
2Department of Human Behavior Ecology and Culture, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Max Planck Society, ou_2173689              

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 Abstract: Acoustic signals that reliably indicate body size, which usually determines competitive ability, are of particular interest for understanding how animals assess rivals and choose mates. Whereas body size tends to be negatively associated with formant dispersion in animal vocalizations, non-vocal signals have received little attention. Among the most emblematic sounds in the animal kingdom is the chest beat of gorillas, a non-vocal signal that is thought to be important in intra and inter-sexual competition, yet it is unclear whether it reliably indicates body size. We examined the relationship among body size (back breadth), peak frequency, and three temporal characteristics of the chest beat: duration, number of beats and beat rate from sound recordings of wild adult male mountain gorillas. Using linear mixed models, we found that larger males had significantly lower peak frequencies than smaller ones, but we found no consistent relationship between body size and the temporal characteristics measured. Taken together with earlier findings of positive correlations among male body size, dominance rank and reproductive success, we conclude that the gorilla chest beat is an honest signal of competitive ability. These results emphasize the potential of non-vocal signals to convey important information in mammal communication.

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Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2021-04-08
 Publication Status: Published in print
 Pages: 8
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 Table of Contents: -
 Rev. Type: Peer
 Identifiers: DOI: 10.1038/s41598-021-86261-8
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Title: Scientific Reports
Source Genre: Journal
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Publ. Info: Nature Publishing Group
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 11 Sequence Number: 6879 Start / End Page: - Identifier: ISSN: 2045-2322