Happy world lemur festival! The Indri is the largest of the living lemurs (although there used to be lemurs as big as gorillas!). Adults live in pairs and sing duets each morning, which can serve to improve group cohesion (Giacoma et al., 2010) and defend their forest territory (Pollack, 1986). Their name in Malagasy, Babakoto, refers to a story where a young boy is lost in the forest and is rescued by an Indri. The duets of the Indri thus serve as a reminder to the Malagasy people as their connection to nature. While lemurs are the most threatened group of mammals, many groups are working on the ground to protect lemur habitats.
[Photo and caption by Meredith Lutz]
Giacoma, C., Sorrentino, V., Rabarivola, C., & Gamba, M. (2010). Sex differences in the song of Indri indri. International Journal of Primatology, 31, 539-551.
Pollock, J. I. (1986). The song of the Indris (Indri indri; Primates: Lemuroidea): Natural history, form, and function. International Journal of Primatology, 7, 225-264.