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. New research teams from the University of Tokyo, Kyoto University, Hokkaido UniversityMadagascarInhabitRing-tailed lemurHas discovered that a male of the animal secretes a "floral scent" and appeals to females.
Key Male Glandular Odorants Attracting Female Ring-Tailed Lemurs-ScienceDirect
Odor experts uncover the smelly chemistry of lemur love | The University of Tokyo
Male lemurs'stink flirt 'using fruity, floral love potion | Live Science
Ring-tailed lemur has sebaceous glands on its wrists, and it is known to use 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 for four years during the breeding and non-breeding seasons, respectively. 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," said the research team.Mika ShirasuHe says.
The chemical constituents of the liquid secreted by the male ring-tailed lemurGas chromatography mass spectrometryAccording to the results of the survey, the secretions during the breeding season were compared with the secretions during the non-breeding season.Dodecanal,12-methyl tridecanal,Tetra decanal3 types of long-chain aldehyde compounds significantly increased,AcetamideIt was found that the organic compound called
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 presented to the female individually, 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
In addition, the research team is a kind of male hormone in the male body,testosteroneI thought that the amount of odorous substances contained in the secretions might be changed by changing the amount of. 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.
Research teamKazunari Higashihara"Most of the research on animal communication is done by ecologists, but our research is different because we have chemistry expertise," he said.
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.