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The Beza Mahafaly Lemur Biology Project

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Dental abscess due to infected, decaying canines.
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Dental abscesses occur due to infected, decaying canines. This is fairly common, as the skull of an unidentified individual found in the forest shows the same pattern.This male was born with a congenital defect, his left ear only partially developed.

Some individuals exhibit alopecia, hair loss. Males show this pattern more than females. Males show more wounds than females, including canine slashes on the arm and even across the nose. Many of these occur during the short mating season when males stink-fight over females. Our research indicates a strong connection between behavior and biology. For example, ring- tailed lemurs feed on Tamarinds which have string-like fibers. When they pull them through the side of their mouths, this results in differential wear on the teeth.


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