Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Getting stinky

Lemurs are awesome for a number of reasons. 

The first being that females are dominant to males, which is very unusual within mammals, and makes female lemurs seem like little lemur-wonder-women. 

Another reason lemurs are awesome is that they use olfactory communication much more than flat-faced primates (monkeys, apes, humans) and love to make things stinky. Mostly with their butts. For real. 

Both male and female ring-tailed lemurs have angogenital scent glands, and males have additional scent glands near their armpits and spurs on their forearms that help with spreading around their armpit stink. All the scent glands produce a thick oily discharge that apparently smells marvelous (or very threatening) to a lemur, but we can't really smell because of our bloody flat faces. Oh, the haplorrhine curse...

Anyhow, because ring-tailed lemurs they are highly territorial both over habitat and each other, they pretty much walk around all day rubbing their stinky selves on things. And generally taking all this very seriously. 

The following are a few videos of lemurs getting stinky and making other things stink. While watching, try to envision your co-workers/friends/kids doing this around the office/pub/house. 

In this one a female ring-tailed lemur really gives a stick a sniff and then a good stink-down. 

Here, one a female gets a small tree good and stinky and then a male comes along, really checks out her fabulous stink, and then gives the tree his own eau de toilette, so to speak.

And in this classic, a couple of males have a good 'ole stink fight. Sorry about the obnoxious annotation, but if its any consolation, I was having a good time watching them in the -1) get stinky,-2) wave tail,-and-3) get a square head routine.

Awesome right?

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