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Picture of the Day

Lemurs find love at first whiff

Many people turn to the Internet to find a Mr. or Ms. Right. But lemurs just give their potential partners a sniff. A study of lemur scents has found that an individual’s distinctive body odor reflects genetic differences in their immune system, and that other lemurs can detect these differences by smell. From just one whiff, these primates can tell which prospective partners have immune genes different from their own. The ability to sniff out mates with different immune genes could make their offspring’s immune systems more diverse and able to fight more pathogens. Shown here: Fritz the ring-tailed lemur sniffs a tree for traces of other lemurs’ scents.

Visit Website | Image credit: David Haring/Duke Lemur Center