Female putty-nosed monkeys get their males to run defense against predators

Female putty-nosed monkeys know what to do when they detect a leopard. They chirp out an alarm call to the males, essentially recruiting them to be their “hired guns.” In response, the males approach the group while making “pyow” sounds, demonstrating their commitment to serve as bodyguards, and possibly enhancing their reproductive opportunities, experts say. It’s only after the males spring to action that the females stop calling. Researchers with the Wildlife Conservation Society’s (WCS) Congo Program and the Nouabalé-Ndoki Foundation observed this behavior in putty-nosed monkeys (Cercopithecus nictitans) across 19 different groups in Mbeli Bai, a swampy forest within Nouabalé-Ndoki National Park in northern Republic of Congo. They recently published their findings in Royal Society Open Science. “What was surprising … was to find that females and males have very different strategies to use their alarm calls, with females manipulating male behavior to defend them and their offspring, and with males advertising their commitment for predation defence and actively mobbing the predator away,” study co-author Claudia Stephan, a scientific consultant at WCS, told Mongabay in an emailed statement. “It’s like evolution led to the same vocal output in females and in males, namely calling in the presence of a threat, but for at least partly different reasons.” Male putty-nosed monkeys have been observed to make different calls depending on the predator or situation. For instance, males will make the “pyow” sound when a terrestrial predator, such as a leopard (Panthera pardus), is detected in the area, and a “hack”…This article was originally published on Mongabay

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