Behavior

Indriids have various social systems, with woolly lemurs and indris living in monogamous pairs, and sifakas living in

The eastern woolly lemur (Avahi laniger) has very thick and woolly fur. (Photo by © Wolfgang Kaehier/Corbis. Reproduced by permission.)

various social configurations including multi-male and multi-female. Predator attacks have been observed on woolly lemurs, indris, and sifakas. Periodic killing of both adult and infant sifakas by the carnivore fossa (Cryptoprocta ferox) has been observed with respect to rainforest sifakas. Hensti's

An indri (Indri indri) carries her babies in the trees of Madagascar. (Photo by Harald Schütz. Reproduced by permission.)

goshawk, a large raptor, has stalked and pursued woolly lemurs during the day, and remains have been found in the goshawk nest.

Indriids are primarily arboreal, although the Verraux's sifakas from the spiny desert occasionally travel on their hind legs in a bouncy gait for several meters. Woolly lemur families sleep together on low, shaded branches. Sifakas and in-dris sometimes sleep in pairs high in the trees. Indriids communicate with a variety of vocalizations from long distance piercing whistles (woolly lemurs) to loud clarinet-like duets (indris) to dog-like barking, honking, and sneezing (sifakas). All species communicate through scent marking. Chemicals from chest (males) and anal (females) glands may constitute individual signatures and indicate reproductive condition, sex, or dominance rank in sifakas. Avahis and in-dris do not have chest glands, but do use perianal glands in scent marking. Sexual dimorphism does not occur in body size or canine length in any indrid, and females are dominant over males in sifakas and indris. Dominance interactions have not been studied in woolly lemurs.

The indri (Indri indri) is one of the largest and loudest extant lemur species. (Photo by John Glustina. Bruce Coleman, Inc. Reproduced by permission.)
Diademed sifaka (Propithecus diadema diadema) mother carrying her baby. (Photo by Harald Schütz. Reproduced by permission.)
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