The study, published in the journal Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, examines the behavior of 15 groups of pied and red tamarins living in the Amazon rainforest of Brazil.
Animals in the act have “greater vocal flexibility” and use calls more often than magpie tamarins, according to a statement from Anglia Ruskin University (ARU), which participated in the research.
Pied tamarins use a long call to communicate, unlike the other group.
Yet scientists found that when red-handed primates entered territory shared with magpie tamarins, they also embraced the long call.
“We found that only red hand tamarins change their calls to those of piebald tamarins, and this only happens in places where they occur together,” said lead author of the study, Tainara Sobroza, from the Brazilian National Amazon Research Institute, in a statement. statement Wednesday.
“Why their calls converge in this way is not certain, but it may be to aid in identification when defending territory or competing for resources.”
“In some cases, rather than diverge to become more different from each other, some closely related species converge to show similar traits,” said Jacob Dunn, associate professor of evolutionary biology at ARU.
Dunn said the study is the first of its kind, with the call of a species becoming the common language in shared territories.
“Because these tamarind species depend on similar resources, changing their ‘accents’ in this way is likely to help these tiny primates identify more easily in the dense forest and potentially avoid conflict,” he said. -he adds.
“Our results suggest that social and environmental pressures are important in the formation of primate calls,” the group of researchers wrote.
The study comes weeks after another intriguing research emerged into how monkeys communicate.
In February, a study suggested that marmosets can understand conversations between other monkeys and judge whether they want to interact with them.
Pied tamarins are critically endangered mammals and are largely found around the Brazilian city of Manaus. Red-handed tamarins are found in the northeastern region of the Amazon.