Lemurs communicate by scent
January 29, 2007
The research, conducted by Elizabeth S. Scordato and Christine M. Drea of Duke University, looked at olfactory communication in the ringtailed lemur, a charismatic primate that forms complex social groups led by a dominant female, so see what information is contained within the scent marks of the species.
"We collected samples of glandular secretions from captive lemurs at the Duke Lemur Center from Sept. 2003-March 2005", said Scordato via email. "We then conducted a series of discrimination/choice experiments with adult lemurs to see if they could differentiate between odors from familiar animals that differed in sex, social status, and reproductive condition."
Ring-tailed lemurs in Madagascar. Photo by Rhett A. Butler
Citation: Scordato, E.S. and Drea C.M. (2007) Scents and sensibility: information content of olfactory signals in the ringtailed lemur, Lemur catta. ANIMAL BEHAVIOUR, 2007, 73, 301e314 doi:10.1016/j.anbehav.2006.08.006