Greater bamboo lemur
SOCIAL ORGANIZATION AND BEHAVIOR
Photo: Tomas Junek
Group size is usually between seven and eleven individuals, although larger
group sizes have been seen, up to 26 individuals (Mutschler & Tan 2003; Tan
2006; Wright et al. 2008). Large groups may be the result of habitat
disturbance (Tan 1999). Groups are polygynous and may have more than one adult
of both sexes (Tan 1999; Mutschler & Tan 2003). The presence or absence of
territorial behavior has not been determined but within a group males may be
socially dominant, especially in feeding contexts (Andriaholinirina et al. 2003;
Only males disperse from their natal group, usually around 3.5 years of age
(Tan 2000 cited in Tan 2006).
Greater bamboo lemurs mate in late May and June with a corresponding birth
season in October and November (Tan 2000 cited Mutschler & Tan 2003; Tan
2006). Gestation in P. simus is 149 days with only single infants born each
pregnancy (Tan 2000 cited in Mutschler & Tan 2003; Tan 2006). The
interbirth interval is one year (Tan 2000 cited in Mutschler & Tan 2003; Tan
2006). Copulatory play begins at two years of age (Tan 2000 cited in Mutschler
& Tan 2003).
Greater bamboo lemurs do not park their infants in contrast to other bamboo
species and mothers carry their young all of the time in the first four months
of life (Tan 2000 cited in Tan 2006; Mutschler & Tan 2003; Mittermeier et
al. 2006). Most care of the infant is provided by the mother (Mutschler &
Tan 2003). Infants are weaned by 8 months old but eat solid bamboo at 8 weeks
old (Tan 2000 cited in Tan 2006).
Greater bamboo lemurs are highly vocal, emitting calls during aggression
(36.7% of calls), submission (25.7%) and traveling (18.0%) (Bergey & Patel
2008). Seven general call types are described, including, "agitated" calls,
"bahh" calls, "breathe out" calls, "contact calls," "purr" calls, "squeal"
calls, and "woof" calls (Bergey & Patel 2008). Calls emitted during
aggression include "agitated" calls, "breathe out" calls, and "woof" calls
(Bergey & Patel 2008). "Purr" calls are common during affiliation and
resting (Bergey & Patel 2008).
Tail-wagging indicates aggression (Bergey & Patel 2008).
Content last modified: July 22, 2010
Written by Kurt Gron.
Cite this page as:
Gron KJ. 2010 July 22. Primate Factsheets: Greater bamboo lemur (Prolemur simus) Behavior . <http://pin.primate.wisc.edu/factsheets/entry/greater_bamboo_lemur/behav>. Accessed 2014 December 22.