Monogamy is a rare thing in mammals, but some older romantics include certain species of bats, wolves, beavers, and leopards. Subsequent science is of particular interest because these primate species closely related to humans – cousins at a distance from humans who once occupied the island of Madagascar – and can directly compare to other members of their liver family who are not exclusive.
With this in mind, a new study published in the journal Scientific Reports has decided to investigate the brain activity of the homosexual and deceptive lemur species. In a homogeneous group, we have red-bellied and mongoose labors. Couples in this group stay together year after year, working as a team to help young people grow up and defend their territory. Bonded lemurs are easy to spot, spending a lot of time snuggling together with the tails wrapped around each other. Some of their genus pulses, however, are not as sensitive, cut and change partners as they please.
Voles proved to be a major group of animals in the understanding of monogamy, studying the brains of life partners for mates showed that they have more receptors for oxytocin and vasopressin – aka cuddle chemicals. These hormones are released during mating, and the more confident relatives of the solitary vole do not have so many receptors that they are seen to be inseparable from the lasting love between these mammals. This new research team wanted to see if male-female bonds could affected in the same way as Voles and so turned to lemurs who have more close genetic similarities with us. Using autoradiography, they mapped the mandatory sites for oxytocin and vasopressin in the brains of 12 lemons – some homogeneous, some not – that died of natural causes at the Duke Lemur Center.
When they compared their searches to the Voles Study, they noticed some significant differences. Oxytocin and vasopressin acted on labors in different parts of the brain, which may or may not change their effects on the body. As well as separated from the vultures, the brains of the solitary lemurs did not seem too separated from their neighboring relatives.”We do not see evidence of a pair-bond circuit,” Nicholas Grebe, a postdoctoral fellow at Duke University, said in a statement. “There are probably a lot of different ways in which loneliness is instantly introduced into the brain, and it depends on which animal we’re looking at. We’re going through a lot more than we originally thought.”