_4DH7573EDSHP_pc 7234 hostilian_pc 7264 furia 7073 gisela
It's common knowledge that in most lemur species, females are dominant over males, and this is especially true in sifakas. Some female sifaka might lord it over their male subordinates nonstop, never sharing choice food items or sunny sitting spots and always reminding the hapless males of their (low) place in sifaka society. Other sifaka females are mellower, only chasing the poor males away on rare occasions. Gisela, pictured here with her one year old son, Hostilian, is one of the more dominant females, and she is constantly keeping mate Rupert on his toes and ever on the lookout for her wrath. However, Gisela has been loving and gentle to Hostilian for his entire life, allowing him to share even the choicest foods such as these maple flowers. Until now that is. Feeding an infant can make a sifaka gal mighty hungry, and the six week old Furia (just visible at bottom of frame) is growing like a weed. Hence Gisela is in absolutely no mood to share her food, even with her beloved yearling baby boy. It's going to take a while before Hostilian gets the picture, after all mom has always been so sweet to him. But Gisela, by chomping down with some force on his tail, although not enough to actually injure it, is teaching the young male a valuable life lesson in sifaka female dominance.