Fun Black Lemur Facts For Kids

Fun Black Lemur Facts For Kids

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Black lemur (Eulemur macaco) is a lemur species of the Lemuridae family. This species is endemic to Madagascar like all other lemurs. Two subspecies that were previously defined are Eulemur macaco flavifrons and Eulemur macaco macaco. In 2008, these species were elevated to Eulemur flavifrons (blue-eyed black lemur) and Eulemur macaco(black lemur). This species has surprisingly distinct eye colors. As the name suggests, the blue-eyed black lemur (Eulemur flavifrons) has sharp blue eyes, and the black lemur has brown or orange eyes. Lemur is a derivation of the Latin word lemures, which means the ghosts or specters exorcised in the festival of Lemuria in ancient Rome. The founder of the modern binomial nomenclature, Carl Linnaeus, gave the name lemurs to these species in 1758. This species falls under the infraorder Lemuriformes under the suborder Strepsirrhini. Records show that these animals show activity throughout the day, so they are neither nocturnal nor diurnal. These black lemurs are black or brown colored.

You may also read interesting facts about the bush baby and the numbat on Kidadl!

Black Lemur Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a black lemur?

Black lemur (E. macaco) is a lemur species of the order Primates and phylum Chordata. This species is neither nocturnal nor diurnal, which is Cathemeral activity meaning 'all day'. They normally forage in the understory of canopies in the day to stay away from predators.  Their social groups have equal distributions of males and females. Females are dominant in these social groups. The locomotive behavior of the current and past species immensely varies. These species use arboreal leaping locomotion and quadrupedal arboreal locomotion to move from a branch or tree to another. They allocate an equal amount of time for resting and traveling. However, the speed they travel in and the range covered reduces in the dry season. Leaping back and forth and tail swishing are two territorial displays that are common. In the breeding season, females aggressively protect their fruit or food, and males are aggressive towards other males.

What class of animal does a black lemur belong to?

The black lemur belongs to the Mammal class of animals.

How many black lemurs are there in the world?

An exact number of the black lemur is not known. However, the estimated number of black lemur species is more than 10,000 in the wild.

Where does a black lemur live?

The habitat range of the black lemur spreads across northwestern Madagascar and is found around Narinda Bay and Ampasindava Peninsula. They also occupy Nosy Komba and Nosy be islands. They share this range of habitat with the blue-eyed black lemurs (Eulemur flavifrons). Blue-eyed black lemurs are endemic to the Sahamalaza peninsula and adjoining forests.

What is a black lemur's habitat?

The home ranges of the black lemur extend across wet evergreen, dry deciduous, riverine forest, canopies, primary and secondary rainforest, timber plantations, and food crop plantations. Their population altitude extends to a range of about 5,249.3 ft (1,600 m).

Who do black lemurs live with?

Black lemurs live in groups of equally distributed males and females.

How long does a black lemur live?

The life span of a black lemur is 20-25 years of age.

How do they reproduce?

This species reaches their sexual maturity around 548 days of age. The mating process of Eulemur macaco is complex. The breeding season of this species occurs from April to May.  One infant is usually born around August to November. During the breeding season, the male leaves the social group to follow females of other social groups. The males also display other mating behaviors like clasping females, scent-marking them, and anogenital grooming. This roaming behavior is displayed by both the dominant and subordinate males of a group. The dominant males usually guard the females of the group, and when these males roam, the subordinate now mates with the unguarded female. The females can choose their mate from either roaming, dominant, or subordinate male. They reject a male by guarding their genitalia using their tails. There are no records of intergroup copulation in these species, however, an observation on ring-tailed lemurs revealed that an intergroup copulation is a possibility among the Eulemur macaco. Females give birth to one offspring in the wild and the rate of producing 2 offsprings in captivity is around 21 percent. The gestation period lasts around 125-127 days. Around the age of 3-4 months in captivity and 5-6 months in the wild, the infant wens. Infant males and females move into groups at 1 -2 years of age. The infant holds on to the mother's belly for the first three weeks after their birth and the mother covers the infant completely while in motion. Around 40-45 days the offspring separates from their mother. Blue-eyed black lemurs hybridize with the black lemurs in the regions where their habitats overlap around Manongarivo Special Reserve. The involvement of the males in caring for the young is not well recorded.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of the black lemur is endangered as per the U.S Federal list and is considered vulnerable and declining by the IUCN red list. The population is affected by habitat loss by slash and burn agriculture, pet trade, hunting, gathering of wood, mining, and logging. The population of blue-eyed black lemurs is nearly extinct. They are also listed as critically endangered.

Black Lemur Fun Facts

What do black lemurs look like?

The black lemur rubs the toxics excretion of millipedes on their fur as they act as insecticides.

The males and females differ in coat color. Females have a coat color ranging from chestnut to golden brown whereas the male coat color ranges from dark brown to black. Females have a black-colored muzzle and feet and a lighter ventral surface. They have tufts of fur around their face that extend from their throat to above the ear. This ruffed hair tuft is white in females and black in males. They have an elongated and furry tail. Their hindlimbs are longer than the forelimbs.  

How cute are they?

Black lemurs have strikingly large eyes so some may find this cute and others may not.

How do they communicate?

They communicate vocalization, body language, and scent marking. They vocalize by screeching, grunting, or cackling. They communicate through facial expressions and touch. Few dominating body language like cuffing, cackling, and chasing is displayed by females.

How big is a black lemur?

Black lemurs are 35.4-43.3 in (90-110 cm) in length. The tail length of black lemurs is 20-25 in (51-65 cm). Blue-eyed black lemurs are also around 35.4-39.3 in (90-100 cm) in length.

How fast can a black lemur move?

The exact speed of the black lemur is not known. However, the top speed recorded is 12.4 mph (20kmph). They can move fast through the vegetation, which depends on the quality of the path they pass through.  

How much does a black lemur weigh?

The weight of the black lemurs is 3.9-4.4 lb (1.8-2 kg). The offspring weighs around 0.14 lb (66 g)

What are the male and female names of the species?

There is no specific name given to the male and female black lemur species.

What would you call a baby Black Lemur?

There is n specific name given to the baby black lemur. They are usually referred to an infant.

What do they eat?

This species is mainly a fruit-eating species. Their diet varies based on the ripeness of fruit.  Black lemur's diet also includes nectar, flowers, ants, bark, and foliage. They also eat papaya, coffee, palm fruit, plum, and flowers like Grewia and Dypsis. It has been recorded that black lemurs eat meat in captivity.

Are they loud?

The lemur species are known to be loud, producing loud cries while they search for food. The cries of a black and white ruffed lemur can be heard from half a mile.

Would they make a good pet?

No, these animals would not make a good pet. They do well around vegetation in forests.

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...

The conservation status of the blue-eyed black lemur is also critically endangered.

Blue-eyed black lemurs are listed as one of the 25 endangered primates.

The black and white ruffed lemur diet is highly frugivorous and fruits make  92 percent of their diet.

The order primates is a derivation of the Old French word primat, from Latin primus meaning 'first rank, prime.'

Some species also hunt insects like butterflies, crickets, and others. The gray mouse lemur feeds on small chameleons and tree frogs.

Chimpanzees live in a variety of habitats of rainforests, dry savannahs, and swampy forests like the ring-tailed lemur.

These mammals are not dangerous to human beings. They either scratch or bite if they are threatened.

Why are black lemurs endangered?

The population of the black lemur is listed as endangered by the IUCN red list because of habitat loss due to slash and burn agriculture, charcoal, and firewood production, burning, and logging. Hunting and capturing for zoos or pet trade pose a threat to these species. They are also hunted as they raid crops.

What's unique about the black lemur?

These mammals are a rare type of lemur endemic to Madagascar. Females have a coat color ranging from chestnut to golden brown whereas the male coat color ranges from dark brown to black. Males and females vary in color so much that previously they were thought to be completely different species.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these mongoose facts and Coatimundi facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring on one of our free printable black lemur coloring pages.

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