Cologne In The Wild

Would you be caught on a date without cologne or perfume? The right or wrong scent can make or break a romantic meeting among humans. A new study finds we are not alone in that regard. It has been discovered that male ring-tailed lemurs emit a fruity and floral smell from their wrists when they notice an attractive female nearby.

Lemurs are a primate unique to the island of Madagascar. They are featured in the film series Madagascar and it’s two sequels. Like in the movie, male lemurs rub the glands on their wrists against their fluffy tails and then wave them at females in a behavior called ‘stink-flirting’.

Smell is a big part of lemurs’ lives and they have highly developed scent glands on their shoulders and wrists. These glands help communicate traits such as social ranking, personal territory and reproductive status. Since only ring-tailed lemurs have these wrist glands and exhibit ‘stink flirting’ behavior, studies show that specific odorants for sexual communication are involved.


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