Mélissa Berthet

study site

Domaines de recherche

Titi monkey vocal behaviour has been described in the late 60’s by Moynihan as “the maximum elaboration which can be attained by species-specific language”. Studies have shown that they produce two different types of alarm call, the A-calls and the B-calls (Cäsar et al., 2012) that can be assembled into sequences encoding both the type and the location of the predator (Cäsar et al., 2013). This capacity is unique in non-human animals so far.
The aim of my PhD is to explore further the encoding capacities of the titi monkeys, and the way they understand alarm sequences. My fieldwork takes place at the Santuario do Caraça, MG, Brazil, on a wild population of Callicebus nigrifrons.


titi monkeys.jpg

© Mélissa Berthet



Berthet, M., Neumann, C., Mesbahi, G., Cäsar Damas, C., & Zuberbuhler, K. (2018).
Contextual encoding in titi monkey alarm call sequences.
Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, 72, [8].
DOI: 10.1007/s00265-017-2424-z

Mélissa Berthet