Chances are high that you’ve only seen lemurs on television, in animated movies, or on a trip through our park. Since these beautiful animals are not common, they tend to be fairly mysterious and misunderstood. Today we thought we’d talk about some of the things you probably don’t know about the amazing lemur.
Lemurs are primates that can live up to 18 years in the wild. They can weigh up to 7.5 pounds, depending on the species. They have unusually long tails that are typically longer than their bodies. They are very social animals that live in large groups called troops. Lemurs are herbivores and eat a lot of fruits but also feast on leaves, tree bark, sap, and flowers.
Here are some other interesting lemur facts we bet you didn’t know:
- There are hundreds of types of lemurs, 17 of which are currently protected. The ring-tailed lemur is the most well-known. Learn more by visiting the Lemur Conservation Foundation.
- Madagascar is one of the largest islands in the world and is a hotspot of biodiversity. Many species, including the lemur, are only found naturally on the island. Of course, lemurs are found in zoos, sanctuaries, and wildlife parks around the world.
- Lemur’s social structure is unique in that females are dominant. In fact, females are the leaders of lemur troops.
- Lemurs may have substantial tails, but they cannot grip or swing by them as similar primates do.
- The ring-tailed lemur spends a lot of time on the ground, which is unusual. Most other species of lemur spend most of their time in the trees.
- Lemurs are one of the only mammals, other than humans, which have blue eyes! The Sclater lemur also called the blue-eyed black lemur, is a rare and endangered species, according to the Lemur Conservation Network.
- The Indris lemur is a large lemur that is known for its song-like vocalizations. The Indris song is complex and is thought to help mark their territories and communicate other information, like warning the troop of danger. Other lemurs are vocal as well, using wails, howls, purrs, and chirps to talk.
Unfortunately, lemurs are facing an uncertain future due to threats to their environment. For this reason, conservation and education efforts are the focus of attention for the Madagascar people. Learn more about lemur conservation by visiting the Lemur Conservation Network.