Ring-tailed lemur turned out to seduce the opposite sex with 'floral sweet scent'

It is known that animals use various means to appeal to the opposite sex, and male peacocks spread large and bright ornament wings to invite females, and fireflies court their females with the light of their tails. Research teams from the University of Tokyo, Kyoto University, and Hokkaido University have discovered that a male

ring-tailed lemur newly inhabiting Madagascar island is appealing to females by secreting a 'floral scent.'

Key Male Glandular Odorants Attracting Female Ring-Tailed Lemurs-ScienceDirect

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Ring-tailed lemur has sebaceous glands on its wrists, and it is known that it uses the secretions from the sebaceous glands to smell (mark). The olfactory sense is not so sharp in humans and other primates, but it is known that the ring-tailed lemur takes a characteristic olfactory communication behavior.

The image below shows the sebaceous glands on the wrist of a ring-tailed lemur with clear secretions.

by Satomi Ito, Kyoto University

The ring-tailed lemur male rubs the secretions from his wrist on his tail ...

It performs a behavior called tail waving in which the tail is shaken greatly near the opponent.

This action is also performed for hostile males, but it is also performed for estrus females.

The research team also confirmed the behavior of females sniffing the areas marked by secretions by males during the breeding season, but this behavior was rarely seen during the non-breeding season. Therefore, the research team thought that the odorant contained in the secretory functions as a kind of pheromone that attracts females.

The research team collected wrist secretions from three ring-tailed lemurs during breeding and non-breeding periods over four years. When I actually sniffed these secretions with a human nose, the secretions in the non-breeding period smelled 'bitter', 'leather-like' and 'blueish'. However, the secretions collected during the breeding season have a 'more fruity, floral sweet scent.' The researchers thought that this change in scent could inform the female that the male was ready for mating.

Actually, when the research team soaked the secretions of the ring-tailed lemur during the breeding period and non-breeding period in cotton and presented it in front of the female, it was also found that it strongly reacts to the cotton secreted during the breeding period and smells. It was 'Females showed no particular interest in secretions outside the breeding season,' says

Mika Shirasu of the research team.

A gas chromatographic mass spectrometric study of the chemical constituents of liquids secreted by male ring-tailed lemurs revealed that the secretions during the breeding season were compared with those during the non-breeding period, namely dodecanal , 12-methyltridecanal and tetradecanal. It was found that the three kinds of long-chain aldehyde compounds significantly increased and the organic compound called acetamide decreased.

The three odorants that increased during the breeding season have floral and fruity scents, so it is highly possible that these substances function as odor pheromones during the breeding season. In addition, when each odorous compound was individually presented to the female, the female did not show great interest, but when the three substances were blended and presented, the female seemed to have a stronger interest.

by Caitlin E. Devor, University of Tokyo

Also, the research team wondered if the amount of

testosterone , a type of androgen in the male body, fluctuates, which may change the amount of odorous substances contained in the secretions. Since testosterone levels in male ring-tailed lemurs rise during the breeding season, the testosterone levels in young males in the non-breeding period are increased to a pseudo-breeding state, and the content of floral and fruity odorous substances breeds. It has increased to the same level as the period.

“Most of the research on animal communication is done by ecologists, but our research expertise is different,” commented Professor Kazunari Higashihara of the research team. I am.

Although it was found that odorants contained in male secretions attract females, curiosity to odor does not necessarily mean sexual attraction. 'It's not clear yet whether a female's longer interest in scents would mean successful male mating,' said Higashihara.

in Science,   Creature, Posted by log1h_ik