Positional Behavior

Brown lemurs are typically arboreal quadrupeds, with leaping as the primary form of locomotion (Dagosto, 1995). Vertical postures and support use are not uncommon. In E. f. rufus at Ranomafana, vertical clinging represented up to 10% of postures adopted during travel (Dagosto, 1995). Similar positional behavioral profiles have been found in E. albocollaris at Vevembe (Johnson, unpublished data). This partial reliance on vertical postures and leaping is reflected in brown lemur anatomy. Fleagle and Anapol (1992) found ischial morphology in E. fulvus was consistent with adaptations for pronograde quadrupedalism similar to Varecia, as well as for true clinging and leaping, as in the indriids. Like most eastern lemurs, E. f. rufus at Ranomafana typically used middle levels of the canopy, ascending to heights above 15 m only 12-28% of the time, depending on the season (Dagosto, 1995). Locomotion can also vary seasonally; quadrupedalism in E. f. rufus increased and leaping decreased significantly during the wet season, associated with greater overall travel and use of small feeding trees with small gaps between canopies (Dagosto, 1995).

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