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Reflections from the Duke Lemur Center

By: Lorelle Bablemur2wah, Assistant Director of Student Services

During the weeklong reprieve that was Spring Break, many of our students traveled across the country and even the world. And of course, a bunch stayed here in good old Durham and visited Duke’s Lemur Center with us.

Beyond simply being adorable, our fine furry friends had a thing or two to teach us about the importance of taking it easy every now and then. Without further ado, I present to you…

The Lemur’s Top 3 Tips for Living Well:

1. Keep Loved Ones Close

During our visit, we were lucky enough to catch a glimpse of 2 month old baby Isabella granddaughter of the famous lemur Zoboomafoo. Little Isabella can often be found clinging to her mother Pompeia or rolling around on the floor with her father Charlie as he coos to her. Human cuddling releases oxytocin, an important hormone implicated in lowering blood pressure, heart rate, and stress hormones.

2. Strengthen your Network

Sometimes we need to rely on our network to accomplish things we cannot do alone. Lemurs are equipped with a special set of comb-like bottom teeth and grooming claw that they use for grooming not only themselves, but also their friends. (Kind of lends a new meaning to “you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours,” doesn’t it?) Of course this easily extends to our world as well. A large percentage of jobseekers eventually find a job through networking. And remember, the more you help others, the more likely they will be to help you!

3. Get some Vitamin D!

The sun is important, regardless of what type of primate you are! Ring tailed lemurs regularly sunbathe, sitting in a yoga pose to feel the warm rays on their bellies. We need the vitamin D to maintain numerous bodily processes, to calibrate our sleep cycles, and to regulate our moods.

And now we will close with a picture of our group at the Lemur Center in typical ringtail sunning pose.


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