We conducted a long-term research project (1996–1999) on developmental aspects of olfactory behavior in ring-tailed lemurs to document the ontogenetic sequence of olfactory behavior, including the possible presence of sexual differences, and the maturation of scent-marking. The subjects were a group of 18 lemurs housed in the Pistoia Zoo (Tuscany, Italy), which we observed during 1,735 h via all-occurrences sampling, scan-animal sampling and ad libitum sampling methods.We determined the time sequence of olfactory exploration and of scent-marking patterns, and investigated sexual differences in timing and frequency. We also followed the development of scent-marking through the juvenile and adolescent phases taking into account the two aspects of motor control and of the acquisition of social competence. On the whole, we found that olfactory investigation appears and matures earlier than scent-marking. Moreover, olfactory investigation of conspecifics appeared later than substrate exploration, and seemed to follow a sequence of increasing level of acceptance by the receiver. Social play is very important for the maturation of the gestural component of scent-marking. The olfactory behavioral pattern appeared to mature during the juvenile and adolescent phases. Although sexual maturation had obvious influence on the development of olfactory behavior, the onset of scent-marking patterns was only partially parallel to sexual maturation.

Development of olfactory behavior in captive ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta)

PALAGI, ELISABETTA;
2002

Abstract

We conducted a long-term research project (1996–1999) on developmental aspects of olfactory behavior in ring-tailed lemurs to document the ontogenetic sequence of olfactory behavior, including the possible presence of sexual differences, and the maturation of scent-marking. The subjects were a group of 18 lemurs housed in the Pistoia Zoo (Tuscany, Italy), which we observed during 1,735 h via all-occurrences sampling, scan-animal sampling and ad libitum sampling methods.We determined the time sequence of olfactory exploration and of scent-marking patterns, and investigated sexual differences in timing and frequency. We also followed the development of scent-marking through the juvenile and adolescent phases taking into account the two aspects of motor control and of the acquisition of social competence. On the whole, we found that olfactory investigation appears and matures earlier than scent-marking. Moreover, olfactory investigation of conspecifics appeared later than substrate exploration, and seemed to follow a sequence of increasing level of acceptance by the receiver. Social play is very important for the maturation of the gestural component of scent-marking. The olfactory behavioral pattern appeared to mature during the juvenile and adolescent phases. Although sexual maturation had obvious influence on the development of olfactory behavior, the onset of scent-marking patterns was only partially parallel to sexual maturation.
Palagi, Elisabetta; Gregorace, A.; Borgognini Tarli, S. M.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11568/668067
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