Monday, December 3, 2012

Call and Response

We have spent a lot of time this past month searching for the hapalemur, without much luck. If only there was an easy way to call out to them! While searching for the hapalemur one day, my guide started whistling a strange tune. It took me about a minute before I realized that the response was coming from a rambunctious group of piggy-snorting collared lemurs! The tune he would whistle mimicked the sound of the collared lemurs, and they would respond to him and move closer. I thought it was too good to miss on video, here I filmed the moment the lemurs caught up with us. You can hear their full call at around 18 seconds- compare it to the whistle at the beginning.


  1. That's interesting. I didn't think the snorting and the whistling sounded alike. Is he imitating another call they make, or is he just imitating the rhythm and pattern of their call?

  2. Yeah, it's hard to tell from this video, which I recorded with the animals very close to us, which distorted the sound somewhat. From far away, the whistle does sound like the cadence of their call. Interestingly, when he whistled, the lemurs came closer.