Diademed Sifaka (Propithecus diadema)


MORPHOLOGY:
The average body mass for this species is around 3 kilograms. The hindlimbs are longer than the forelimbs. This species has microflora in its cecum to help it digest cellulose in plant material.

RANGE:
This species lives in eastern Madagascar in coniferous forests.

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

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

SOCIAL BEHAVIOR:
This is a monogamous species, and the pair and its offspring form the basis for the social group. This is a territorial species. Infanticide has been reported for the edwardsi subspecies (Wright, 1995). Erhart and Overdorff (1998) suggest that an immigrant male might want to commit infanticide for future reproductive success because the interbirth interval is so long (2 yrs) and infanticide shortens the interbirth interval.

VOCAL COMMUNICATION:
alarm call: this call sounds like "shim poon", and can increase to barks.

cohesion call: this call sounds like "vooeef", and is uttered when a group member becomes separated.

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, with anogenital marking being important for both sexes.

VISUAL COMMUNICATION:

TACTILE COMMUNICATION:

REPRODUCTION:
This species gives birth to a single offspring.

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

Erhart, Elizabeth M.; and Overdorff, Deborah J. 1998. Infanticide in Propithecus diadema edwardsi: An Evaluation of the Sexual Selection Hypothesis. International Journal of Primatology, Vol.19 No.1: 73-81.

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

Wright, P.C. 1995. Demography and Life History of Free-ranging Propithecus diadema edwardsi in Ranomafana National Park, Madagascar. International Journal of Primatology, Vol.16: 835-854.

Last Updated: March 22, 2007.
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