Guessing the sex of your unborn baby is a great game to play that will keep you occupied for, well, nearly nine months.
What’s more, there’s always someone on hand who claims that they can tell whether you’re having a boy or girl depending on the size or shape of your bump, the foods you’re craving or the size of your left foot (ok, we made that one up). But scientists have revealed there might just be a new way to tell – by the smell you give off. Well, if you’re a lemur anyway!
Researchers at Duke University have found that pregnant lemurs give off a different scent depending on whether they’re expecting a boy or girl. The results are the first evidence in any species that a mum’s scent changes depending on the sex of her baby.
Congratulations, it’s smells like…
To find this out, the researchers collected scent secretions before and during pregnancy, from the genitals of 12 female ringtailed lemurs at the Duke Lemur Center in Durham, North Carolina, USA (nice..).
Lemurs have a distinctive musky scent but the study found that when they’re pregnant this scent changes. When they’re carrying a boy the change in their day-to-day perfume (eau de lemur..) is even more pronounced.“It’s a big change,” says Christine Drea, a professor of evolutionary anthropology at Duke University.
“When lemurs are pregnant with boys versus girls, their hormone profiles are very different,” Drea explained.
No word yet on whether this research will apply to humans, but we do know that, “A woman’s scent changes when she’s pregnant from when she’s not pregnant,” said Drea, so there might be something in it. Time to start sniffing your bump!