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Ring Tailed Lemur

World of Lemurs (Prosimians)

The Lemurs of Madagascar are one of the most critically endangered and one of the oldest species on Earth.  This WORLD currently features three species/subspecies of Lemurs.

Common Name:        Ring Tailed Lemur

Genus/Species:         Lemur catta


The island of Madagascar.

Natural Habitat:

The ring-tailed lemur dwells in both the dry forest area in southern Madagascar and the wet forests of west Madagascar.

Physical Appearance:

Physical appearance may slightly vary depending on geographic area. Ring-tailed lemurs are perhaps the most easily recognized of all the lemur species. They are quadrupedal with a tendency toward climbing and leaping. Lemurs can walk or hop a few steps bipedally. Their tail is used for balance when moving among horizontal branches. The ring-tailed is the least agile of lemurs, particularly among small branches. The lemur's thumb is pseudo-opposable. Their whole hand is used to grip, between finger-tips and proximal pads. The hand is hook-like and inaccurate with small objects. Digits have flat nails  except for the second toe which has a long claw used for self-grooming. Procumbent lower incisors and canines form a dental comb used in all grooming.

The ring-tails nose is naked and moist, vibrissae (long, stiff hairs projecting from the nose) are present. When resting, the ring-tail assumes a sitting position with back supported. Sleeping posture is semi-erect with head between knees, hands gripping branch and tail wrapped around body. Scent glands are on both upper and forearms; and are much more developed in males.


Gestation is 120 - 135 days. They have a single young which is carried on the  mother's stomach for 2 weeks until able to cling to her back. Independent at 6 months. Sexually mature at 18 months. Average lifespan 7 years.


STATUS in Natural Habitat:


Cool Fact:

Male ring-tailed lemurs have stink fights.  They rub their tail on their arm scent glands, then arch tail over their head so the smell is wafted toward the opponent.


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