How Smart Are Lemurs?

are lemurs smart

There are several different types of intelligence, but we can generally classify them into four categories: Social, Systematic, and Smell. So, how smart are lemurs? This article will look at the four most common types, and what each of them means for the world of intelligent life. You may even be surprised at what you discover! Read on to discover the answers to these questions and more! But which ones are truly the most important?

Social intelligence

Research has found that the social intelligence of lemurs can improve their performance in some tasks, including judging other people’s facial expressions. Researchers gathered data from 60 lemurs across six species to determine if lemurs can judge social cues and increase their intelligence. While these findings are intriguing, the researchers still hope to find out how social savvy improves intelligence in specific species. For now, the best test for social intelligence of lemurs is the social-tailed lemur, which can judge human facial expressions more accurately.

To find out how lemurs process situations, Brannon and his colleagues devised an experiment to measure their social intelligence. They wanted to know whether the lemurs steal food when they are not being watched. To do this, the lead study author, Evan MacLean, a professor of evolutionary anthropology at Duke University, introduced the lemurs to humans and made them realize that they were competitors. Lemurs who were taught that humans took their food did not respond in the same way, however.

Systematic learning ability

Recent studies on the systematic learning abilities of lemurs have demonstrated that they have the capacity to learn numerical rules. For example, when presented with two different trays of tasty treats, lemurs learn to recognize and remember the first tray, but not the second. As the amount of each treat varies, lemurs show an increased ability to learn the second tray. This suggests that lemurs may have accessed a more approximate number system.

Previously, researchers had shown that ring-tailed lemurs possessed manipulative skills, like using a puzzle feeder to find food. These manipulation skills are comparable to those of some New World and Old World monkeys. One gray mouse lemur had learned to open a box by removing a backward image, while another aye-aye lemur demonstrated the ability to use tools by pulling a can. Researchers also showed that the capuchin monkey possessed limited tools, but lemurs possessed a basic understanding of tools.

Larger brains

In a recent study, Dr. MacLean and colleagues found that lemurs with larger brains performed better on a variety of cognitive tests. Their findings suggest that the brain size of these primates is not the only factor in their smarts. Social interactions and diet may also play a role in their cognitive abilities. However, further research is needed to understand the factors that affect the size of a lemur’s brain.

Researchers conducted an experiment with lemurs to test their social intelligence. In the experiment, they required them to reach around a transparent box and retrieve food. Interestingly, they found no correlation between the size of a lemur’s brain and its performance on the cognitive task. As a result, the researchers concluded that lemurs that live in larger social groups are smarter. However, these results were inconsistent, despite some evidence that lemurs with larger brains were less likely to be in social groups.


A new study reveals that pregnant lemurs have distinct scents, based on their sex. Christine Drea and Jeremy Chase Crawford, scientists from the University of Washington, analyzed the scents of 12 female lemurs. They found that the males produced a lighter, simpler bouquet. This sex-specific scent is the first known among animals in the animal kingdom. However, the authors did not explain why the difference was seen.

Natural selection drives the evolution of any species, and a lemur’s breeding success depends on his ability to attract females. If a male lemur is injured during mating season, his scent is particularly weak. A wounded lemur cannot sustain scent signals because they are costly to produce and can’t fool his rivals. Despite this, the scent patterns remained constant, even after accounting for the use of antibiotics. In the meantime, other lemurs were able to distinguish between the scents of males and females.


The sexual maturity of Lemurs makes them more aggressive. Females are aggressive towards other lemurs and exhibit more aggression than males. Owners have reported that they have had lemurs that would slap them or attack their hands. Interestingly, these behaviors are also common in adult lemurs, especially when they are in the care of a human. However, lemurs that are in the care of humans are usually more protective of their young.

Female lemurs have less testosterone than male lemurs, so the researchers wondered if the hormones they were exposed to during their pregnancy influenced their behavior. The researchers studied twenty-four young lemurs in the Duke Lemur Center. They collected blood samples and monitored their behavior to determine when play fighting crossed over to real combat. Females also had a reduced tendency to be aggressive as children. The researchers concluded that the hormone levels in female lemurs may contribute to their aggressive behaviors.

Sense of mood

Lemurs have a heightened sense of mood that is similar to that of humans. A recent study compared lemur performance to that of macaques. Interestingly, lemurs performed less accurately than macaques, even with the same task parameters and training. The difference may reflect the different task parameters and training histories of these animals. However, further studies are needed to clarify the exact role of this skill in lemurs.

The research found that in the case of the blue-eyed black lemurs, twelve of fifteen animals met the criterion after just thirty training sessions. Inter-subject variability varied from 411 to 2,204 trials. Two of the blue-eyed lemurs failed to reach the criterion after thirty sessions, but the third reached the level twice and achieved 75 % after only eight training sessions.