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The use of mixed-species exhibits in zoological parks may influence the types and rates of interactions between individuals housed in such enclosures. Inter-and intraspecific behavioral interactions were observed for three species of lemurs (ring-tailed lemur, Lemur catta; black lemur, Eulemur macaco macaco; and black-and-white ruffed leumur, Varecia variegata variegata; in an enclosure designed to simulate characteristics of their natural habitat. Intraspecific interactions occurred more frequently than interspecific interactions, and little aggression was observed, either between or within species. Intraspecific interactions among black lemurs increased with decreasing ambient temperature. Black lemurs performed more intraspecific mutual contacts than either agonistic behaviors or vocal communication. Sky conditions, body size, and residence time within the exhibit did not influence frequencies of inter- or intraspecific interactions. The observations indicate the feasibility of mixed-species exhibits of limited size and provide a baseline data set with which to compare behavioral changes occurring after the introduction of a fourth species into the enclosure.


Mullin, Stephen J. "Inter-and intraspecific interaction rates of three species of lemurs (subfamily Lemurinae) in an enclosure at the Memphis Zoo and Aquarium." J Tenn Acad Sci 73 (1998): 77-81.

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