DEC 22, 2016 11:26 AM PST

Lemurs Capable of Seeing Colors Help Their Entire Group Survive

When it comes to lemurs, not all of them are capable of seeing all natural colors. For the most part, many of them are dichromatic, which means they are red/green colorblind.


Female lemurs that exhibit trichromacy may increase the survival odds of their young and the rest of their group.

In some groups, all of the lemurs are colorblind. In other groups, most of the lemurs are colorblind and only some are capable of seeing additional colors; these are typically females who are trichromatic, rather than dichromatic.

In being trichromatic, they can see all natural colors that are made up of the red, green, and blue color spectrum, so they are capable of seeing more like we do.

According to a study that was published in Scientific Reports by researchers from the University of Texas at Austin, trichromatic female lemurs may have important evolutionary advantages for their entire group, which helps them to survive more efficiently.

"Previously, researchers trying to understand why trichromacy evolved have focused on color vision in New World monkeys," said researcher Rebecca J. Lewis. "However, studies of wild monkeys were unable to find clear benefits for trichromacy. Our work on lemurs suggests that being able to distinguish red from green can be particularly important when times are tough and that trichromatic females are better able to feed themselves and their babies."

According to the research, female lemurs that were trichromats had higher body made indices and increased infant survival rates. The findings suggest that when the female lemurs, which are typically the leaders of a group, can see more color, they are more effective at hunting prey for those who depend on them, which includes their babies, and even the rest of the group.

Trichromat female lemurs were also observed eating and leading their groups to more fruit than dichromat female lemurs, suggesting that their additional color vision plays a role in their ability to spot edible fruits in the distance.

On the other hand, lemurs aren’t exactly good at finding food during the drier months between May and November, but it would appear from the study that those who had a trichromatic female in their group had at least a 5% higher body mass index during those months than those who didn’t.

The findings also conclude that infants with trichromatic mothers are 22% more likely to survive the first year than infants that only have dichromatic vision.

In what sounds like a great advantage for the species, it seems upsetting that more females don’t exhibit this quality. Only about a quarter of the 31 females that were studied actually had trichromatic qualities, which really isn’t a whole lot.

Source: Phys.org

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
OCT 23, 2019
Plants & Animals
OCT 23, 2019
Belgian Zoo Welcomes Two Newborn Panda Twins
This past week has been an exceptionally thrilling one for staff at the Belgian Pairi Daiza zoo. A female giant panda there named Hao Hao delivered a coupl...
OCT 23, 2019
Earth & The Environment
OCT 23, 2019
Will Banana Crops Survive a Changing Climate?
Climate change impacts, most notably rising temperatures and changing precipitation patterns, are impacting agricultural production around the world. It&rs...
OCT 23, 2019
Plants & Animals
OCT 23, 2019
All Squirrels Enjoy Nuts, and Some Shamelessly Steal Them
It’s no secret that squirrels enjoy eating nuts, but a lesser known fact is that many of these cunning rodents also enjoy the thrill and easy reward...
OCT 23, 2019
Cannabis Sciences
OCT 23, 2019
Presidential Candidates and Cannabis Legalization: Where do they Stand?
As medical and recreational use of cannabis expands, it has become a hot political topic. It’s no surprise to see it covered on the campaign trail. H...
OCT 23, 2019
Technology
OCT 23, 2019
PlantVillage Nuru: An App that Predicts Climate Change Stress for Farmers in Africa
Researchers at Penn State reveal an artificial intelligence (AI) app is now available for free in smartphone use and can help protect farmer’s crops ...
OCT 23, 2019
Plants & Animals
OCT 23, 2019
These Birds Mate for Life
Meet the Picathartes, a bird species that resides in the Congo and has done such for more than 44 million years. These birds mate for life, and in order fo...
Loading Comments...