Paternal recognition, being able to identify males from your father’s line, is one way that mammals avoid inbreeding – some can do this is through recognizing the calls of paternal kin. This was thought to occur only in large-brained animals having complex social groups, but a new study shows it can happen in a tiny, solitary primate.

The study finds that the grey mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus) – a small-brained, solitary foraging mammal endemic to Madagascar – is able to recognize paternal relatives via vocalizations, thus providing evidence that this is not dependent upon having a large brain and a high social complexity, as previously suggested.

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