Olfactory Communication in the Ringtailed Lemur (Lemur catta): Form and Function of Multimodal Signals

  • Christine M. Drea
  • Elizabeth S. Scordato


To better understand the relation between form and function in the complex olfactory communication system of the ringtailed lemur (Lemur catta), we integrated observational, experimental, and chemical approaches applied to a population of semi free-ranging animals at the Duke Lemur Center in Durham, North Carolina. Our aim was to examine sex-role reversal in the expression and function of scent marking and unravel the contribution of multimodal components of information transfer, with the unifying framework for all three avenues of our research being that multiplicity of form implies multiplicity of function.


Linear Discriminate Analysis Scent Mark Female Mate Choice Lemur Catta Intrasexual Competition 
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© Springer Science+Business Media,LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christine M. Drea
    • 1
  • Elizabeth S. Scordato
  1. 1.Dept of Biological Anthropology and AnatomyDuke UniversityDurhamUSA

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