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Male ring-tail lemurs exude fruity-smelling perfume from their wrists to attract mates


Humans aren’t the only primates who like smelling nice for their dates. In the journal Current Biology on April 16, scientists report that male ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) become more attractive to females by secreting a fruity and floral aroma from their wrists. Using detailed chemical analysis, the researchers identified three compounds responsible for this sweet scent, marking the first time that pheromones have been identified in a primate.

“During the yearly breeding season, male lemurs rub the glands on their wrists against their fluffy tails and then wave them at females in a behaviour called ‘stink flirting,'” says senior author Kazushige Touhara, professor and biochemist at the University of Tokyo. MORE

Header image: A male lemur with clearly visible antebrachial glands on its wrists. Credit: Chigusa Tanaka, Japan Monkey Centre.

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