Tree-living monkeys Diana, living in the jungle of West Africa, usually form groups of one male and several females, representing his “harem” as well as cubs. Although the male is the lead dog in a situation if one of the females warned of the danger he irrevocably submits to her even he is sure that it was a “false alarm” or that the female identified the source of danger is incorrect. To such conclusion the Swiss zoologist klaudiya Stefan and Klaus Zuberbuhler.
Experts explain that Diana monkeys do often lurk certain dangers, be it predators, falling trees or by a rival group of monkeys. If one of the monkeys managed to notice a particular threat, it reports this, and each of the types of risk corresponds to a “word”. Such message can apply monkeys of both sexes, however, resort to this and respond to these signals, males and females are different, scientists say.
Sounds, implying the approach of a predator, differ from each other depending on what a dangerous animal is approaching the monkeys. For example. one of the monkeys means “leopard” and the other “eagle”. Thus, hearing one of these terms, monkey see, top or bottom, we should expect threats. When the male hears a warning signal, it first searches for its source, and then, risking his own life, rushes to protect females.
In the early stage of the research, experts observed 36 groups of monkeys and noted that the males can shout to warn the group about danger, but tried not to take any more action until the anxiety does not show a female. According to researchers, the risk for the male trying to attack the predator is too large to go on it unless absolutely necessary.
The scientists also conducted a few experiments. The first of them was the fact that the monkeys transmitted the audio recording with sounds that makes when moving any of the predators. As it turned out, most females in this case raised the alarm almost immediately, while males sometimes waited a whole minute before also scream. It is curious that after that, females started to behave quietly, as if making sure they heard.
For the second experiment, the researchers divided a group of monkeys, and played a recording of each species separately. The sound of an approaching predator to be added previously recorded the cries of the monkeys of the opposite sex, “appropriate” to another predator. That is, for example, females could hear the sound of the flying eagle and the cries of the male “leopard!”, and the males — sounds of a stalking leopard and a female screaming “eagle!”. As it turned out, the females in this situation are not focused on the sounds of the male, and to their own opinion. At the same time males, contrary to what they told own ears, subordinate the female, and started to warn about the approaching eagle, even if it heard of a leopard.
According to experts, the male is fully aware that the information females does not match his own, but he did not interfere. In all probability, behind it many factors, but chief among them, as scientists believe the need to impress the female impression is believed to be largely “harem” follows the leader is out of respect to him, so the male must constantly prove their status.
A study published in the scientific journal Current Biology.