Lemur Communication and Socialization
There are two principal types of communication for the Lemurs. They use vocalization and they use scent markings. Low growls are used by the Lemurs to communicate. Sometimes that message is to get away or other times it is inviting. The mothers use soft purrs with their young so that they have a way to contact each other. This also helps them to form deep bonds.
A shrill scream by a Lemur is very high pitched. This is an alarm and can be howling which can be heard for a long distance. This may be a sign of territory to warn other Lemurs to stay away. Other times it is a means to signal to the family that there is immediate danger and they need to seek refuge.
Lemurs have been known to meow like a cat. This type of sound is used to help call the family group to a central location. If they have spread out widely to look for food it can be a way to give them all a central meeting place for nesting for the evening.
Grunts that come from the Lemurs are used when there is one on one contact. Most exerts believe that it is also used for mating purposes. Yet it is often observed even in times when the Lemurs aren’t taking part in mating practices. This could be a sign of just two Lemurs approaching each other on a friendly basis. Since they are such social creatures by nature that makes perfect sense.
The scent glands of the Lemur are found on the wrists or genital regions. They leave behind the odor and that tells others that a Lemur family owns that habitat. They often overlap though and it typically won’t be a problem unless food shortages occur.
Lemurs rely on those scent glands to communicate where they are going. The family groups may spread out to find food. This can also help the dominant females to know if an outsider has been there and can be a threat to their family group.
The glands can also be used as a means for them to know about mating times. The females only go into estrus for a few days each year. The males will be able to smell and to take immediate action.
Many experts believe that grooming is also a type of communication for the Lemurs. It is a type of nurturing and interacting that allows for them to feel comfortable with each other. It is also an experience that grows the deep bonds for the members in any Lemur family group.
Non verbal communication can be used as well for the Lemurs to communicate. Many researchers believe the location of the tail and even if it is moving back and forth or not can be a sign of certain types of communication among them.
Lemurs are known to stare each other down with very wide eyes. The mouth is also wide open with the lips curved over the teeth. This is something they do when they are going to join forces to mob predators as well. It is a type of communication that is similar to warriors preparing for battle.
This type of staring expedition can also be taking place when there will be conflict within the family. It may be one on one or several members against one. It an also be a split group on each side for the family. If the staring continues either some Lemurs will turn away or the fight will become physical in nature.