The Queen's Main Man

9th June 2010

You see, in our society women rule. I thought I should mention this because in the animated movie MADAGASCAR you would have been introduced to King Julien XIII who is also a ring-tailed lemur. And after meeting King Julien XIII you must have assumed that the males are the leaders of the ring-tailed lemur society. In the real Madagascar (an island off the coast of Africa) however, females are dominant. So, to make the movie factually correct, the leader should have been a queen, not a king!


In the wild ring-tailed lemurs are only found in south and southwest Madagascar, but I live right here in The Garden Route inside a forest called Monkeyland.  I have a huge family and loads of friends, and at the moment I am lucky enough to be the most popular of all the males who live here at Monkeyland.


No! It is not because of my looks! It is because I stink-fight better than the rest.  In our society the stinkiest, smelliest male is the most popular, and I am just that – the smelliest of them all!


Let me explain this to you. Male ringtails have two very interesting scent marking behaviours. The first is called “spur marking” and involves the scent glands on our wrists. Us males will use our sharp nail or “spur” to make a cut into the tree to deposit our scent when we claim our territory. The second behaviour is known as a “stink fight”. In a stink fight males take their tails and rub them against their chests and wrists. Once they are sufficiently stinky, they will brandish their tails against another male. This male may then counterattack with his own stinky tail or simply run off (the cowards do this). These stink fights can last up to an hour! The male who is the stinkiest is the one who wins the female. 


It’s much better than fighting with the fist.  Perhaps humans can learn from us ringtails.  Next time you human males feel like picking a fight for a woman’s heart, rather see who farts best…it’s much less painful.