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Ring tailed lemur

Ring tailed lemur

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Scientific Name:

Lemur catta


South and Southwestern Madagascar.


Mainly herbivore. Mainly fruits, leaves, flowers, herbs and bark, but also big insects and ever small vertebrates such as lizards.


Habitat: Various forest types, brushlands

Dimensions: 39-46cm

Weight: ~2.2kg

Gestation: 138-141 days, 1-3 young

Lifespan: ~27

Social structure: Multi-sex groups of 6-30 individuals with the females being dominant over males.

Estimated population in the wild: 2,000-2,400

IUCN Status: Endangered

Threats: Deforestation to create grazing pastures and for charcoal production, hunting for food or for the pet trade.

Did you know that:

  1. The name ‘lemur’ comes from the Latin word for ‘ghost’ or ‘spirit’. The word "catta" refers to their cat-like features.
  2. They can often be seen sunning themselves by sitting in a yoga-like position, exposing their undersides to the sun.
  3. Males compete for females via 'stink fights', smearing scent on their tails from special glands and wafting the smell towards their opponent.
  4. Due to the treats they face in the wild, there are now fewer individuals in the wild than in zoos.

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