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Did You Know? Incredible Ring-tailed Lemur Facts

One of the best ring-tailed lemur facts is that ring-tailed lemurs are famous monkeys found in open lands and different protected areas of Madagascar.

What is a lemur? Ring-tailed lemurs are a type of monkey that falls under the category of prosimians. They are primates that evolved way before monkeys and apes. Ring-tailed lemurs are often found in the open land and protected areas of southwest Madagascar, in regions that range from 15-57 acres (0.06-0.2 km2) in size. A lemur's diet includes fruits, tree bark, sap, leaves, and flowers.

A ring-tailed lemur has a white distinguishing belly. They have a white face with triangular eye patches and a dark black nose, keeping true to their name with a ringed tail with alternating black and white rings. As part of the infraorder Lemuriformes, lemurs have a dental comb made up of lower incisors and canines typical of this group of primates. They have incredibly sharp teeth. Lemurs weigh between 5-7.5 lb (2-3 kg) and are 15-18 in (39-46cm) tall. Ring-tailed lemurs also have a 21.75 in (55 cm) long tail. Once the females are three years old they are capable of giving birth and the tails of these lemurs are used as warnings and can be waved at any rival group.

Lemurs have been seen making use of facial and language expressions to communicate. They also have a special scent-marking ability that allows them to secrete a fruity and floral aroma from their scent glands, which smells a lot like pears. Research into this has shown therefore that, contrary to popular belief, lemurs don't stink!

According to the IUCN, the conservation status of the lemur has been declared as an Endangered species. According to a 2017 survey, it has been estimated that around 2000 lemur species are left in the wild thus making the threat of extinction particularly serious. Here are some interesting facts on ring-tailed lemurs that everyone will enjoy. If you like these, then do read our guides to the tamandua and pygmy slow loris too!

Ring-Tailed Lemur Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a ring-tailed lemur?

The ring-tailed lemur is a type of monkey found in the prosimian group. These are considered to be primates that evolved before monkeys and apes. They are considered to be more primitive than their cousins, but they do share certain characteristics.

What class of animal does a ring-tailed lemur belong to?

Ring-tailed lemurs belong to the class of mammals.

How many ring-tailed lemurs are there in the world?

According to a 2017 survey, it has been estimated that around 2000 lemur species are left in the wild thus making the threat of extinction particularly serious.

Where does a ring-tailed lemur live?

Ring-tailed lemurs live in southwestern Madagascar, in regions of open land and woods ranging from 15-57 acres (0.06-0.2 km2) in size. Ring-tailed lemurs also live in some of the small neighboring islands to the African island of Madagascar. Ring-tailed lemurs use their hands and feet for moving through and climbing the trees in their habitats and they don't use their tails like their monkey cousins.

What is a ring-tailed lemur's habitat?

A ring-tailed lemur's habitats include wide-open lands, rainforests, and forests ranging from 15-57 acres (0.06-0.2 km2) in size. They are most commonly found in southwest Madagascar, an island present on the east coast of Africa. Their habitat can also be found in some of the small neighboring islands to the African island of Madagascar. They spend a lot of their time on the floor of the forest. They do climb sometimes but usually spend time in the mid-canopy level, rather than at the very top of the trees.

Who do ring-tailed lemurs live with?

The Madagascar lemur lives with a troop of their own kind and has many social bonds. Ring-tailed lemurs are found co-existing with many different animals living in the wild but they are predominantly found mingling with their own troop of lemurs.

How long does a ring-tailed lemur live?

The average lifespan of a ring-tailed lemur is between 16 to 18 years.

How do they reproduce?

Once females are three years old, they are capable of giving birth. So, often the first baby is born when females reach the age of three. However, when lemurs are kept in captivity with good care, females can give birth to young at as early as 18 months old. Mating is seasonal with males and females beginning to mate in mid-April and babies being born in August and September. The process of gestation lasts up to four and a half months. The young infants are often seen clinging to their lemur mother's belly for the first few days, but after a few weeks, they are seen jockey-style riding on their mother's back.

What is their conservation status?

According to the IUCN, the conservation status of the ring-tailed lemur has been declared as Endangered. Ring-tailed lemurs are often found in the open land and forests of southwestern Madagascar and they are also located in some of the small neighboring islands to the African island of Madagascar but these ring-tailed lemurs are threatened by habitat destruction. Habitat destruction is a real worry as it leaves these lemurs without their basic habitual needs of food, water, and shelter.

Ring-Tailed Lemur Fun Facts

What do ring-tailed lemurs look like?

A ring-tailed lemur is generally quite small in size and its face somewhat resembles that of a rat's face in smaller species or that of a fox in larger species. They have a grey-to-rosy-brown back accompanied by grey-colored limbs and dark grey heads and bellies. This lemur also has a white distinguishing belly. They have a white face and teeth with triangular eye patches and a dark black nose. Keeping true to their name, they have a ringed tail with alternating black and white bands. Lemurs weigh about 5-7.5 lb (2-3 kg) and are 15-18 in (39-46 cm) tall. They also have a 21.75 in (55 cm) long tail. The tails of these lemurs are used as warning devices and can be waved at any rival group. Lemurs also have sharp teeth and females are generally smaller in size compared to males.

A ring-tailed lemur is often seen as a symbol of Madagascar and represents the different endangered animals on the island.

How cute are they?

They are a pretty cute animal, however, this is a subjective question to answer and the final answer will vary from person to person. Despite this, many of us do find ring-tailed lemurs cute, and the fact that they are held captive in many zoos for us to come and visit also shows that they are a much-loved animal.

How do they communicate?

Ring-tailed lemurs are often seen communicating using loud screeching sounds. Also, with the help of scent glands, they often use scent communication to mark their territories and fight for dominance. Ring-tailed lemurs have also been seen making use of facial and language expressions to communicate. Finally, the tails of these ring-tailed lemurs are used to communicate warnings and are waved at any rival group.

How big is a ring-tailed lemur?

A ring-tailed lemur is about seven times bigger than a rat. Lemurs weigh about 5-7.5 lb (2-3 kg) and are 15-18 in (39-46 cm) tall. They also have a 21.75 in (55 cm) long tail and males are often a bit bigger when compared to females.

How fast can a ring-tailed lemur run?

Lemurs use their limbs to move through vegetation (they don't make use of their tails like their cousin species). By doing this, they can run fast but not too fast.

How much does a ring-tailed lemur weigh?

A ring-tailed lemur weighs about 5-7.5 lb (2-3 kg).

What are their male and female names of the species?

There are no specific names for male and female ring-tailed lemurs.

What would you call a baby ring-tailed lemur?

A baby ring-tailed lemur is called an infant.

What do they eat?

The main diet of a ring-tailed lemur includes fruits, leaves, flowers, tree bark, and sap.

Are they loud?

They are known for being very loud and they are often seen making very loud screeching noises just to warn each other of any danger.

Would they make a good pet?

No, they cannot be pets because they are adapted to live in an open environment in the dry forests and rain forests of Madagascar. Some are kept in zoos though, so you can visit these!

Kidadl Advisory: All pets should only be bought from a reputable source. It is recommended that as a potential pet owner you carry out your own research prior to deciding on your pet of choice. Being a pet owner is very rewarding but it also involves commitment, time and money. Ensure that your pet choice complies with the legislation in your state and/or country. You must never take animals from the wild or disturb their habitat. Please check that the pet you are considering buying is not an endangered species, or listed on the CITES list, and has not been taken from the wild for the pet trade.

Did you know...

A ring-tailed lemur has a tail longer than its body, the tails of these lemurs are used as warning signs and are waved at any rival group.

The Latin name of a ring-tailed lemur is 'catta' due to its cat-like looks.

Lemurs have scent glands on their wrists and these lemurs have 'stink fights' using these glands which is a chance for male lemurs to earn the right to breed with certain females.

Female lemurs can be quite aggressive, more so than male lemurs. They also might bite, so they can be dangerous to humans.

Ring-tailed lemurs have two tongues! They have a main tongue and an under-tongue.

What does a ring-tailed lemur smell like?

Due to their special ability of scent marking, lemurs secrete a fruity and floral aroma from their scent glands which smells a lot like pears. So, contrary to popular belief, lemurs don't stink!

Are ring-tailed lemurs famous?

Yes, ring-tailed lemurs are considered to be quite famous. They are probably the most recognized species of lemurs from all of the different types of lemurs, and who can forget King Julien, the ring-tailed lemur from the film 'Madagascar', a film all about the amazing island where ring-tailed lemurs live?

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other mammals including the Bornean orangutan, or the wolly monkey.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our ring-tailed lemur coloring pages.

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