Hosted by Sandra Tsing Loh, The Loh Down on Science is a fun way to get your daily dose of science plus a dash of humor in less than two minutes.
Hosted by Sandra Tsing Loh
Airs Weekdays 2:43 and 3:43 a.m.

Smells Like Lemur Spirit





Listen to story

01:30
Download this story 0.0MB

Scary!  A creature that can smell your weakness!

This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science.

When we think of creatures that smell weakness, we imagine...vampires! Sci-fi villains!  That TERRIFYING clown in IT??!!  
Well, science has added a new creature to that list: LEMURS?!

Rachel Harris from Duke University conducted a study to see how lemurs detect weakness. 

Scent secretions from over twenty lemurs were collected both before and after an injury.  The chemicals in INJURED lemurs had more scent compounds compared to those in HEALTHY lemurs.

The researchers also rubbed the secretions on wooden rods and watched the critters react. Healthy lemurs acted especially aggressive towards the wooden rods covered in the scent of injured lemurs.

The researchers believe lemurs use scent to detect their enemy’s fighting skills. They think identifying weaker, injured rivals through smell can help lemurs climb their social ladder. This mysterious behavior seems fitting during the ultra-competitive mating season among males.

So...double feature! The dancing lemurs in “Madagascar” plus “Scent of a Lemur!” Hoo-wahh - pass the popcorn!