Fun Northern Sportive Lemur Facts For Kids | Kidadl


Fun Northern Sportive Lemur Facts For Kids

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The northern sportive lemur is a lemur and primate species native to the East African island of Madagascar. It is classed as a sportive lemur because of its ability to leap from and cling to trees in an upright position. This lemur uses the fleshy pads on its feet and hands for this purpose. It is one of the smallest lemur species. The northern sportive lemur used to be found in the Sahafary region, which is why it was called the Sahafary sportive lemur, but it has been eradicated from this place now. Northern sportive lemurs are solitary and territorial and like to spend their day nesting in tree holes. They can be defensive about territories, but the home ranges can overlap. Female lemurs raise the infants by themselves. The northern sportive is vital to its ecosystem but is one of the most endangered species in the world, mainly due to habitat loss and illegal hunting. There are only 40 individuals of this species left.

For more relatable content, check out these ring-tailed lemur fun facts and woolly monkey facts for kids pages.

Fun Northern Sportive Lemur Facts For Kids

What do they prey on?

Leaves, flowers, and fruit

What do they eat?


Average litter size?


How much do they weigh?

1.5-1.8 lb (700-800 g)

How long are they?

Head-to-body length: 9.8 in (25 cm) Tail length: 11 in (28 cm)

How tall are they?


What do they look like?

Gray, brown, and fleshy

Skin Type


What were their main threats?

Humans, Birds Of Prey, Boas, Madagascar Tree Boas

What is their conservation status?

Critically Endangered

Where you'll find them?

Deciduous Forest, Dry Forests, Humid, Evergreen Forests











Northern Sportive Lemur Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a northern sportive lemur?

The northern sportive lemur (Lepilemur septentrionalis) is a lemur and a primate.

What class of animal does a northern sportive lemur belong to?

The northern sportive lemur (L. septentrionalis)belongs to the Mammalia class of animals.

How many northern sportive lemurs are there in the world?

There are only 40 northern sportive lemurs (L. septentrionalis) left in the world.

Where does a northern sportive lemur live?

The northern sportive lemur is native to the island of Madagascar. It is the only place where this animal is found. More specifically, northern sportive lemurs live in the northern tip of the Madagascar island, from the coast to the Loky river's left bank.

They are seen to the north side of the Irodo River, near the Ankarongana and Madirobe villages in the Sahafary region. They are also called Sahafary sportive lemurs because of this reason, but they have most probably been completely eradicated from this region in the north. Northern sportive lemurs are also found near the Andrahona mountain, south of Antisiranana city.

Other places included in the northern sportive lemur range are the Mahavay River, Vohemar city, and the Montagne d'Ambre National Park.

What is a northern sportive lemur's habitat?

Northern sportive lemurs like to live in deciduous and dry forests as well as in evergreen, humid forests. The majority of their day is spent sleeping in dense vine bundles or in tree holes. Sleep sites tend to be 3.3-26.2 ft (1-8 m) off the ground. Northern sportive lemurs are also found in mountainous lowlands.

Who do northern sportive lemurs live with?

Northern sportive lemurs tend to be solitary and territorial. The home ranges of the females and males may overlap. Males breed with females in their own territory and defend it aggressively as well.

How long does a northern sportive lemur live?

The average northern sportive lemur lifespan in the wild is around eight years. These animals may live up to an average of 15 years in captivity like other members of the Lepilemur species-genus.

How do they reproduce?

Northern sportive lemurs reproduce by mating and giving birth to live offspring. Birthing mostly takes place between the months of September and December. Usually, the females give birth to just one infant at a time and the gestation period lasts from 120-150 days. Young lemurs are weaned at the age of four months, but they may remain with their mothers for up to a year. Sexual maturity is attained at the age of 18 months. The female is solely responsible for raising the offspring. She brings food for the infants and provides protection as well. The female leaves the infant on a branch when going to gather food.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of the northern sportive lemur species according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature is Critically Endangered.

Northern Sportive Lemur Fun Facts

What do northern sportive lemurs look like?

The northern sportive lemur is the smallest member of the Lepilemur genus of lemurs. It is mostly a gray-brown color, being the darkest near the crown. This animal also has enlarged and fleshy pads on its feet and hands. These pads help the lemur in grasping on to tree branches with quite a bit of agility. The northern sportive lemur also has a dark gray-colored stripe along its dorsal line that originates at the crown. The underside is gray-colored.

Northern sportive lemurs have very big eyes and binocular vision. These animals also have a caecum pouch that helps to accommodate its folivorous diet. The ears of northern sportive lemurs are less prominent than others in the Lepilemur genus.

Northern sportive lemurs have gray undersides.
* We've been unable to source an image of a northern sportive lemur and have used an image of a Madagascan lemur instead. If you are able to provide us with a royalty-free image of a northern sportive lemur, we would be happy to credit you. Please contact us at [email protected].


How cute are they?

Northern sportive lemurs are small and cute. Their most endearing feature is their huge eyes. Their tails are as long as their bodies, and it is quite a sight to watch them travel through the trees. Their gray-brown fur makes them look very cuddly too.

How do they communicate?

Northern sportive lemurs communicate via calls and other vocal cues. The two basic calls include a contact rejection call as well as a loud presence call. The loud call is crow-like and is mainly used by these lemurs during territorial claims and to indicate their presence. The rejection call is given in a series of hisses that are resonant. There is a vocalization in two phases given after these hisses. The rejection call is usually uttered between two individuals who approach each other.

Northern sportive lemurs also indulge in latrine behavior. These primates are known to scent-mark the boundaries of their territories.

How big is a northern sportive lemur?

Northern sportive lemurs are an average of 21 in (53.3 cm) in length from head-to-tail. This makes them about twice as small as mandrills and about twice as big as pygmy marmosets.

How fast can a northern sportive lemur move?

Being a lemur species, northern sportive lemurs may move at speeds of 12 mph (19.3 kph).

How much does a northern sportive lemur weigh?

Northern sportive lemurs weigh 1.5-1.8 lb (700-800 g).

What are the male and female names of the species?

Males and females of the northern sportive lemur species do not have specific names. They are simply called a male northern sportive lemur and a female northern sportive lemur.

What would you call a baby northern sportive lemur?

A baby northern sportive lemur is called an infant.

What do they eat?

The northern sportive lemur diet consists of leaves, flowers, and fruit.

They themselves get preyed on by boas, especially the Madagascar tree boas and birds of prey like owls.

Are they dangerous?

No, northern sportive lemurs are not dangerous.

Would they make a good pet?

There is no way to keep a northern sportive lemur as a pet since its status is Critically Endangered, with only 40 mature individuals left in its native northern Madagascar. Also, lemurs, in general, are wild animals that are territorial and should be left alone in their wild habitats.

Did you know...

One of the unique things about the Critically Endangered northern sportive lemurs is that they can cling to and leap from trees in an upright vertical position. This leaping style of locomotion is why they are called 'sportive'.

How important is the northern sportive lemur?

The northern sportive lemur plays a vital role in its ecosystem. They have a major impact as they are the primary prey to Madagascar tree boas and other native boa species. They also actively feed many fruits, trees, and leaves.

Why is the northern sportive lemur endangered?

The northern sportive lemur has a Critically Endangered status due to massive habitat loss caused by a slash-and-burn form of agriculture and illegal meat hunting.

Northern sportive lemur conservation efforts need to be urgent since it is so close to extinction. There have been efforts to save the endangered northern sportive lemur habitat in the Montagne des Français in northern Madagascar. Direct surveys and random patrols of the northern sportive lemur environment are also carried out.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other mammals from our patas monkey fun facts or the howler monkey fun facts for kids pages.

You can occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable northern sportive lemur coloring pages.

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