Fun Indri Facts For Kids

Divya Raghav
Jan 07, 2023 By Divya Raghav
Originally Published on Aug 05, 2021
Edited by Isobel Murphy
One of the best indri facts is that the indri lemur, also called the babakoto, is not only one of the largest living lemurs but is also one of the most surreal-looking ones.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 7.2 Min

The indri is a species of lemurs that are also known as babakotos. These are the largest lemurs on the planet with an average lifespan of 15-18 years but they sadly don't survive as long when kept in captivity.

This black and white lemur is famous for its teddy bear-like appearance. Populations of indri are mainly arboreal and completely depend on trees for food.

They eat leaves, flowers, seeds, and fruits and are herbivores. Indris are territorial animals that live in protected areas, which are described as their territory. Reproduction in these mammals is sexual, with a female giving birth to offspring every two to three years after a gestation period of several months.

These animals are not nocturnal and are awake in the daytime, but these animals are super lazy and spend about 16 hours a day sleeping. The indri species of lemur lives in small groups with five to six others.

This lemur got its name from people of the Betsimisaraka tribe and the name 'babakoto' also originated from this same tribe. If you like reading these indri facts, you can check out more facts on the Bornean orangutan or the capuchin monkey.

Indri Interesting Facts

What type of animal is an indri?

Indris are the largest living species of lemurs and are also known by their scientific name, Indri indri. An indri lemur is vegetarian and they are arboreal animals.

What class of animal does an indri belong to?

The indri lemur belongs to the class of mammals as they give birth to their offspring.

How many indris are there in the world?

The current conservation status of indris is Critically Endangered and there has been a drastic decline in the indri lemur's population in the past years. This is due to various natural and human reasons, including slash and burn agriculture. It is estimated that there are 10,000 indris left in the world.

Where does an indri live?

Indris are found in coastal and montane rainforests from the Mangoro River to Sambava. Indris are island animals and are found on the island of Madagascar.

They live in groups in the trees and are arboreal. This means that the diet of Indris is strictly vegetarian, and they depend on trees for food. Indris can also live in captivity but normally not for more than a year.

What is an indri's habitat?

Indris are dependent on forests and trees for food and survival, these arboreal indris are found in coastal and montane rainforests on the island of Madagascar. The island is rich in vegetation that supports the diet of indris, who are completely vegetarian and depend on trees for food.

Indris eat fruits, leaves, and flowers from trees in order to survive.

Who does an indri live with?

Indris live in small groups of two to six indris, consisting of a mated male, a female, and their offspring. They may even live in bigger groups with several generations of indris in fragmented forests.

How long does an indri live?

In their natural habitat or the wild, they can live for 15 to 18 years. They do not tend to survive in captivity and it is generally agreed that indris cannot survive for more than a year in captivity.

The diet of indris is nuanced as they eat foods at different times of day, which cannot always happen in captivity, and that is why they can live much longer (up to 18 years) in the wild.

How do they reproduce?

They live in groups that include at least one mating pair. These male and female indris breed seasonally using sexual reproduction. Indri lemurs reach sexual maturity when they are between seven and nine years old and every two to three years, a female gives birth to offspring. Birth occurs after a gestation period of 120-150 days.

What is their conservation status?

The current conservation status of indri lemurs is Critically Endangered. The main reasons that indris are an endangered species are their loss of habitat and destruction of habitat as a result of local agricultural developments. With drastic declines in the indri lemur's population, there are only 10,000 indris (Indri indri) left in the world.

Indri Fun Facts

What do indris look like?

These babakoto lemurs of Madagascar are similar to teddy bears in their looks! They have fuzzy ears with round heads and eyes of a honey color which make them look really cute.

They are the largest lemurs in the world and can weigh up to 21 lb (9.5 kg) and grow up to a height of 31.5 in (80 cm).

Unlike other lemurs, indri only have one rudimentary tail and have patches of silky fur along their limbs, neck, and lower back. An indri skull is also divided into two parts, with a separate cranium and jaw.

An indri lemur on a tree with its bright eyes always depicts a picture of a mildly surprised face!

How cute are they?

Indri, babakoto lemurs, are the biggest lemurs in the world and are black and white-colored with patches along their limbs. This makes them look almost identical to baby bears in appearance, which is super cute!

They have round heads and fuzzy ears like teddy bears and have bright honey-colored eyes, making them look very appealing. They are very lazy and their actions can be cute too.

How do they communicate?

Most primates communicate by visual signals but indris love to use their vocals. They communicate with vocal calls that are known as an 'indri call'. Also, as they are social, tactile communication is somewhat important, especially between family members.

How big is an indri?

An adult lemur indri can grow as big as 25–28 in (64–72 cm) in length and 23.6-31.5 in (60-80 cm) in height. They can weigh between 13-21 lb (6 - 9.5 kg) as adults.

This lemur species is the largest amongst all lemurs in the world. For example, they can be five times bigger than a pygmy mouse lemur in terms of body size and weight.

How fast can an indri run?

Most primates are generally slow and indri are one of the largest primates and lemurs in the world. Therefore, indris prefer to walk slowly and are very lazy as an animal. They can run at speeds of 20 mph (32 kmph) if needed.

How much does an indri weigh?

The Madagascar indri is the largest lemur species living on the planet. The weight of these indri animals ranges between 13-21 lb (6-9.5 kg). A female lemur indri weighs somewhere around 13-14.3 lb (6-6.5 kg) whereas males weigh up to 21 lb (9.5 kg).

What are their male and female names of the species?

The indri lemur is also known as a babakoto and the scientific name of this species of lemur is Indri indri. There are no particular names for male and female babakotos.

What would you call a baby indri?

Indri lemurs are the biggest lemurs alive on the planet. A baby indri is called an infant and there is no scientific name for a baby indri, they too are called Indri indri.

What do they eat?

Lemur species are generally herbivores and an indri's diet includes various foods from the trees. The major food source of an indri lemur is fruits, flowers, leaves, and seeds from trees.

Are they aggressive?

Lemurs of this species are generally not aggressive and are actually very lazy. They sleep for approximately 16 hours a day and are herbivores which makes them less aggressive. It has been noted that indris kept in captivity and raised by humans can be more aggressive as indri are very difficult to tame.

Would they make a good pet?

No, indris are social animals that prefer to stay in groups. They are wild animals, unlike dogs and cats, and are not good domestic pets as they cannot adapt to the human habitat. They belong in their natural habitat, in the wild, where they can enjoy their diet of fruits and seeds and live as a family group.

Did you know...

Indris are one of the largest species of lemurs on the planet and they communicate with high-pitched calls that can be heard from a distance of 1.2 miles (1.9 km). An indri lemur is a territorial animal that marks its territory by urinating and they have a very powerful sense of smell.

Indris have very short tails, at about 2 in (5.08 cm), unlike other lemurs. They have fuzzy ears and yellowish eyes which face forward. Indris spend most of their lives in trees and therefore they have very dexterous fingers that help them move through the trees.

How long is an indri's tail?

Indri, amongst all other lemurs, have comparatively short tails. The length of the tail of an adult indri is around 2-2.3 in (5-6 cm).

Who is at the top of the indris' food chain?

In Madagascar, fossas, hawks, and snakes are three animals that prey on indri lemurs, so they are found above indri populations on the food chain.

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 ring-tailed lemur, or the agouti.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our Indri coloring pages.


Get directions
We Want Your Photos!
We Want Your Photos!

We Want Your Photos!

Do you have a photo you are happy to share that would improve this article?
Email your photos

More for You

See All

Written by Divya Raghav

Bachelor of Commerce specializing in Accounting and Finance, Master of Business Administration

Divya Raghav picture

Divya RaghavBachelor of Commerce specializing in Accounting and Finance, Master of Business Administration

With a diverse range of experience in finance, administration, and operations, Divya is a diligent worker known for her attention to detail. Born and raised in Bangalore, she completed her Bachelor's in Commerce from Christ University and is now pursuing an MBA at Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies, Bangalore. Along with her professional pursuits, Divya has a passion for baking, dancing, and writing content. She is also an avid animal lover who dedicates her time to volunteering for animal welfare causes.

Read full bio >