/ 27 October 2021

Lemurs get into the groove

Image source: Alamy

It may not come as a surprise for anyone who’s seen Madagascar, but researchers have discovered that singing lemurs are the first known non-human mammals to display a sense of rhythm. Indri are a critically endangered lemur species that are native to the African island nation. And sure, their voices might sound like “bagpipes being stepped on“, but they do like a family singalong. After analysing their songs, scientists say that like humans and some songbirds, the lemurs make distinctive and predictable patterns, like the beat of a song. Researchers identified 2 types of categorical rhythms: 1:1 (like a metronome) and 2:1 (like Queen’s We Will Rock You). Amazing, but not as accomplished as their onscreen counterparts

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