Ring-tailed Lemur Facts
There are some significant conservation efforts in place for them. Still, many worry that there isn’t enough being done. They want to see more land protected for the future of the Lemurs. In the wild they can typically live up to 18 years but in captivity they can live up to 30 years. That is why part of protecting them includes captivity programs with breeding being a primary part of the success of these programs.
Lemurs are a kind of primates endemic to the island of Madagascar. These are really fascinating & unique mammals, but what makes lemurs one of these amazing creatures?
- The name Lemur is actually Latin for “spirits of the night”.
- Ring-tailed Lemurs spend a lot more time on the ground than other species of lemur.
- The lemur is a native animal of Madagascar.
- Lemurs are a species of primate known as ‘Prosimians’.
- The smallest species of lemur is known as the Dwarf Mouse Lemur (or Pygmy mouse Lemur) and weighs only 30 grams.
- Unfortunately the Aye-Aye Lemur are often trapped and killed because the people there believe them to have a supernatural link to “evil spirits”.
- Lemurs have flat fingernails similar to human beings. (Manicure, anyone??)
- The diet of a lemur consists mostly of fruit and leaves, and when possible, fruit from the Tamarind tree can make up approximately fifty percent of their yearly diet.
- They also eat flowers, insects, herbs, and decayed wood, as well as bark and sap.
- Lemurs bask in sunlight during the morning and it is often a group activity.
- Lemurs use scents to communicate with other lemurs.
- Their tail can also be used as a form of communication when wafted through the air while carrying a scent.
- Their tails are longer than they are (the tail being 22 inches in length) and is used for balance and communication within the species.
- On the second toe of each hind limb is what is called a “Toilet Claw”. The lemur uses them mostly for grooming.
- The lemur, if threatened, attacks with its short nails.
- When there isn’t much food, lemurs will simply hibernate for a while.
- Whilst many people may not like to see animals in zoos, the lemur actually does really well in captivity.
- Lemurs live about eighteen years.
- They have scent glands in their wrists.
- Lemurs compete with other males by having what is called a “stink war” using the glands in their wrists to scent their tails.
- Lemurs mature at two years, but a lot of the babies don’t live to be that old.
- Of all the primates, lemurs are the most different from human beings.
- Lemurs used to live in Africa, but monkeys there were too much of a competition for the lemurs.
- Madagascar, the place in which they live is the fourth largest island in the world.
- Lemurs range in size. The smallest subspecies weighing 30 grams and the largest weighing approximately 15 lbs.
- Blue-eyed lemurs are one of two (non-human) primates to have truly blue eyes.
- When Madagascar separated from Africa, lemurs hitched rides on floating driftwood and other things to get to Madagascar.
- Lemurs are good adapters as they can slow their own metabolism and reproduce less when needed.
- Due to living an arboreal lifestyle, lemurs can do amazing things such as making a sashay-like movement on their hind legs with their arms stretched above them as they move along the ground.
- Most species of lemur spend a majority of their lives high in the trees they live in.