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Am J Primatol. 2006 Dec;68(12):1202-7.

Volatile components of lemur scent secretions vary throughout the year.

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  • 1School of Natural Resource Sciences, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia.


Olfactory signals can communicate a wide variety of information and are very important in many mammalian species. However, little is known about the olfactory communication of primates. This study used gas chromatography to examine the volatile components of the anogenital gland secretions of wild Milne-Edward's sifaka, Propithecus edwardsi (Primates, Indriidae) (n = 17), captured in Ranomafana National Park, Madagascar. We compared scent swabs of animals and examined differences between social group, age class, sex, and season. The only identified differences in the volatiles were between swabs from the different seasons; all other categories were statistically indistinguishable.

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