Project Description

Ring-Tailed Lemur

Lemur catta

Animal Class: Mammals

Length: Body: 15-19 inches; Tail 22-25 inches

Weight: 5-8 pounds

Lifespan: 20 years

Diet: Wild: fruit, leaves, flowers, herbs, and bark say

Habitat: Ring-tailed lemurs are native to Madagascar. Lemur troupes are found in mixed deciduous forests and treeless, rocky terrain with caves and crevices.

Description: The ring-tailed lemur is covered with soft fur that is gray to brown on its head and back and is off-white on its belly and limbs. This primate has a prominent fox-like snout covered with whiskers and a black and white marked face. It has forward facing eyes. A ring-tailed lemur’s feet, soles, and palms are long, smooth, and leathery and each digit ends in a pad. The most distinctive feature this creature has is its long, black and white striped tail.

Both males and females have antebrachial scent glands located near the wrists, which for males are covered with a horny spur. The scent from these glands help to mark branches within the territory of each troupe. During grooming, ring-tailed lemurs spread the scent from these glands onto their tails. This “stinky tail” helps to spread the scent of the troupe and each individual into the air. Also, their “stinky tails” are used in “stink fights” in which quarrelling lemurs raise their tails over their heads and jab them at each other until one back down.

Ring-tailed lemurs also communicate through vocalizations which range from a soft mewing to an alarm screech. A typical day in ring-tailed lemur troupe life consists of awakening at the crack of dawn to feed in the highest tree branches where they can catch some of the sun’s rays. On cool mornings they expose their bellies and the interior of their limbs to a nice sunbath to warm up. During the hottest hours of midday, they rest in the trees. In the afternoon, they feed, groom, play, and sometimes get into stink fights with other troupes. Once night falls, they go back to the safety of their sleeping trees.

Our Animals: Hank, Stewart, and Terrapin

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