Presents a comprehensive review of nonhuman primate audition and vocal communication. These are obviously intimately related topics, but are often addressed separately. The hearing abilities of primates have been tested experimentally in a large number of species across the primate order, and these studies have revealed both consistent patterns as well as interesting variation within and between taxonomic groups. Recent studies have shed light on how variation in anatomical structures along the auditory pathway relates to variation in auditory sensitivity.
At the same time, ongoing studies of vocal communication in wild primate populations continue to reveal new insights into the social and environmental contexts of many primate calls, and the range of known primate vocalizations has increased dramatically with the development of more sophisticated and accessible auditory equipment and software that enables the recording and analysis of higher-fidelity and broader-band recordings, including documenting very high frequency (i.e. ultrasound) vocalizations.
Historically the relative importance of primate calls has been evaluated qualitatively by the perception of the researcher, but new methods and approaches now enable a greater appreciation for how signals are used and perceived by the primates in question. The integration of anatomical and behavioral data on acoustic communication and the environmental correlates thereof has significant potential for reconstructing behavior in the fossil record. This confluence of factors and accumulating evidence for the sophistication and complexity in both the signal and its interpretation indicate that a book synthesizing this information across primates is warranted and represents an important contribution to the literature.
The lead editor has published a number of articles in international, peer-reviewed scientific journals related to the functional morphology of the outer and middle ear in humans, primates and fossil hominins, and his ongoing research program centers on the study of the evolution of human hearing. The co-editor has published articles and contributed a book chapter on auditory sensitivity in primates and has an active research program focusing on primate bioacoustics.