Ring tailed lemurs use scent in a variety of social contexts and will “handstand” and engage in “stink battles” in order to leave visual and olfactory signs.
Lemurs possess arguably the most complex scent marking behavior of all primates. Ring-tailed lemurs use scent in a variety of social contexts, including territorial defense, mate evaluation, and intrasexual competition.
Both sexes of the ring-tailed lemur do a “handstand” to place genital marks on substrates at lemur nose height. They also engage in “stink battles” with one another where secretions from scent glands are rubbed onto the tail, then wafted at opposing animals.
Males arm-mark plants with metacarpal spurs and glandular secretions from the wrist and armpit, leaving both visual and olfactory signs, often on top of genital marks.
Sources: (Baumhofer, 2017; Gould, Sussman, & Sauther, 2003; Jolly, 1966; Kappeler, 1998; Mertl-Millhollen, 1988, 2006; Millhollen, 1986; Sauther, 2012; Schilling, 1974; Tinsman, Hagelin, & Jolly, 2017; Wilson & Hanlon, 2010)
Image: Mathias Appel