Primate species range in size, from dwarf gorillas (Cebuella pygmaea) weighing just 110g, to Western gorillas (Gorilla gorilla) weighing around 120kg. The carnivores range from an ordinary dwarf mongoose weighing 280g (Helogale parvula) to a tiger weighing 180kg (Panthera tigris).
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Research shows that, with a certain length of body, primate larynx is on average 38% larger than the larynx of predators, and the laryngeal evolution rate in these species is faster.
Laryngeal size also varies more than body size among primates, suggesting that primates have a greater flexibility to evolve in different ways. Predators obey a more fixed laryngeal-to-body size ratio.
Laryngeal size is also considered to be a good predictor of the call frequency of a species, which demonstrates the relative voice communication of the observed size variations.
Co-author Dr Jacob Dunn, Reader on Evolutionary Biology at Anglia Ruskin University (ARU), said: “This study demonstrates a clear difference in laryngeal evolution between groups. mammal.
“Specifically, we have demonstrated for the first time that the primate’s larynx is larger, less closely linked to body size, and has a faster evolution rate than the carnivore larynx. is a suitable comparison group, showing fundamental differences in the evolution of the phonetic organ between species. ”
Lead co-author, Dr. Daniel Bowling, Lecturer in Psychiatric and Behavioral Science at Stanford University, added: “Our study also showed that laryngeal size differences predict changes. on the pitch of the voice, highlighting the important role of the larynx in voice communication. This is demonstrated by the rich and varied calls made by many primates.
“The results show that a fundamental difference between primates and predators in laryngeal size restriction force, as well as highlighting evolutionary flexibility in primates could help explain why did they develop complex and varied uses of the sound organ to communicate. This provides an interesting pathway for future studies examining differences between other mammal groups. “