Verreaux's Sifaka (Propithecus verreauxi)


MORPHOLOGY:
The average body mass for males is around 3.7 kilograms, and for females it is around 3.5 kilograms. In the cecum there is microflora to aid in the digestion of cellulose in plant material. They have long tails, unusual for members of their family Indridae. The hindlimbs are longer than the forelimbs.

RANGE:
The species is found on the island of Madagascar, and lives in disturbed and secondary growth forests.
Verreaux's Sifaka


ECOLOGY:
This species is primarily folivorous, but also eats fruit, bark, and dead wood.

LOCOMOTION:
The Verreaux's sifaka moves in the trees by vertical leaping and clinging, and on the ground they move by bipedal hops (Fleagle, 1988).

SOCIAL BEHAVIOR:
Females are dominant in groups in this species, and male dispersion occurs. The groups generally are small about 3 individuals, and there are usually more males than females in a group.

VOCAL COMMUNICATION:
alarm call: this call sounds like "shifak".

cohesion call: this call sounds like a bark, and is responded by sitting and opening mouth up to the sky.

threat/contact rejection call: this resembles the old world monkeys; it sounds like "chreh-chreh-chreh".

OLFACTORY COMMUNICATION:
Olfactory communication is important in this species.
territory marking: both sexes of this species mark territories with secretions from the anogenital gland.

VISUAL COMMUNICATION:

TACTILE COMMUNICATION:

REPRODUCTION:
This species gives birth to single offspring. Individual members synchronize reproduction within their own groups and with other Verreaux's sifaka groups.

REFERENCES:
Burton, F. 1995. The Multimedia Guide to the Non-human Primates. Prentice-Hall Canada Inc.

Fleagle, J. G. 1988. Primate Adaptation and Evolution. Academic Press.

Last Updated: March 22, 2007.
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