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The Beza Mahafaly Lemur Biology Project

 
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Female ring-tailed lemur.
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Society

Ring-tailed lemurs live in large social groups with an equal number of males and females. They co-ordinate their movement and usually feed and do other activities in tandem with one another (Sauther et al.1999). Ring-tailed lemurs are a true female dominant society: Females have first access to food, shade and grooming partners. This is a very rare social organization among mammals in general. We have found that this leads to sex differences in health (Sauther et al. 2002). Males have a higher number of ectoparasites, a greater incidence of alopecia and have lower percentages of body fat than females.
 
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