Reproductive Strategies in Lemur catta: Balance Among Sending, Receiving, and Countermarking Scent Signals
Source: International Journal of Primatology, Volume 25, Number 5, October 2004 , pp. 1019-1031(13)
Abstract:Our goal is to go deep into behavioral olfactory strategies possibly used by ring-tailed lemurs in reproductive competition and to shed some light on the function of female scent marks deposited outside the breeding season. We followed 16 captive adults at the Pistoia Zoo (Tuscany, Italy) for > 1,500 h from May 1997 to March 1999. Male direct and indirect olfactory investigation on females showed complementary distributions, the former peaking during the breeding and the latter during the birth season. Males are thus able to monitor female reproductive conditions throughout the whole year. During the birth season there was an increase of female genital marking. The olfactory advertisement probably guarantees that the extremely brief estrus does not remain unnoticed and allows male intrasexual competition a long period to operate. Male indirect olfactory monitoring and countermarking on female signals peaked during the birth season, which suggests that male intrasexual competition is achieved both by getting female chemical messages and by concealing them from other males. Female countermarking on other female genital marks peaked during the breeding season. High-ranking females had higher frequencies of countermarking than those of low-ranking females, which suggests that the advantage of obliterating scent signals of other females is greater than the disadvantage of revealing one's own reproductive condition.
Document Type: Research article
Affiliations: 1: Centro Interdipartimentale Museo di Storia Naturale e del Territorio, Università di Pisa, via Roma 79, Calci (Pisa), Italy. Dipartimento di Etologia, Ecologia, Evoluzione, Unità di Antropologia, Università di Pisa, via S. Maria 55, Pisa, Italy;, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org 2: Centro Interdipartimentale Museo di Storia Naturale e del Territorio, Università di Pisa, via Roma 79, Calci (Pisa), Italy 3: Dipartimento di Etologia, Ecologia, Evoluzione, Unità di Antropologia, Università di Pisa, via S. Maria 55, Pisa, Italy
Publication date: 2004-10-01