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Lemurs sing using 1:1 rythms, like humans and birds


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They have fluffy ears, a penetrating stare and a penchant for monogamy. But it turns out that indris – a large, critically endangered species of lemur – have an even more fascinating trait: an unexpected sense of rhythm.

SiStock-624390752.jpg?width=1200cientists say they have analysed the songs of 39 indris living in the rainforest of Madagascar, revealing that the creatures employ rhythms that are essentially predictable patterns of intervals between notes. For example in a 1:1 rhythm, all the intervals are of equal length, while a 1:2 rhythm has some twice as long as those before or after – like the opening bars of We Will Rock You by Queen.

While the 1:1 rhythms have previously been identified in certain songbirds, the team say their results are the first time categorical rhythms have been identified in a non-human mammal. “The evidence is even stronger than in birds,” said Ravignani.

Writing in the journal Current Biology, the team – which also included researchers from the university of Turin – describe how they made their discovery by studying the songs of 20 groups of indris – typically singing in male and female duets – recorded over a period of 12 years.

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Source - https://www.theguardian.com/science/2021/oct/25/singing-lemurs-have-a-distinctly-human-sense-of-rhythm-study-finds

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