Ring-Tailed Lemur Facts
|Size||Up to 18 inch (45 cm); tail up to 24 inch (60 cm)|
|Speed||Up to 12 mph (20 km/h)|
|Weight||Up to 6.6 lb (3 kg)|
|Food||Fruits, leaves, flowers|
|Predators||Birds of prey, wild dogs|
|Scientific name||Lemur catta|
|Characteristics||Long, black and white tail|
If we talk about lemurs, which mostly also remind us of movies such as „Madagascar“, we refer to a particular species of lemurs called ring-tailed lemurs. In total, there are nearly 100 different species of lemurs. The color of their fur can be grey, brown, white and black, but also red.
The following animal profile is about the well-known and popular ring-tailed lemurs. The special characteristic of ring-tailed lemurs is their black and white striped tail and their face, which resembles a ghost with dark rimmed, yellow eyes and white fur markings.
In the communities of ring-tailed lemurs the females have the say. Not because they are larger or stronger, as there is not much difference between male and female lemurs in this respect. Apart from the lemurs, hyenas and meerkats are the only mammals that rely on female power.
„Oh yes? Smell this!“ – The Stink Fights of the Lemurs
Yes. It is really called “stink fight”. Yes, it really does smell very badly. Lemurs put their tail under their armpits, so that the bad smell sticks to it. Then they eagerly wag their tail in the direction of their opponent. The lemur that cannot stand the smell any longer and makes his escape has lost the fight. Imagine someone take off his shirt, put it under his armpits and hold it under your nose ...
When the sun rises and the first warming beams of sunlight touch the earth, the ring-tailed lemurs love to enjoy a good sunbath. They do not simply lie down on their backs or their tummies ... no, they prefer the lotus position. They sit on the ground, spread their arms and cross their legs if they feel like it. Yet, nobody has ever heard them hum a mantra.
Tail Like a Flag
On the ground, the ring-tailed lemurs hold their tails upright like flags. This is their way to say: “Here am I!” ...
The term “lemur“ originates from the Latin word for “ghosts“. The natives of Madagascar really thought that their ancestors lived on as ghosts in these little primates.
Lemurs in Madagascar
Lemurs do not only include the katta, but also mouse lemurs - like Mort in Madagascar. There is also a animal named Maurice in the movie. It is an aye-aye and it forms a "sister group" of the lemur, because they are their nearest relatives and have the same ancestors.
135 days after mating, the female lemur gives birth to a baby. During the first few weeks, the little one clings to the fur of its mother. After about eight weeks it can eat solid food and after five months it can take care of itself.
Lemurs as Pets?
Find out more information on this topic in the article Lemurs as Pets.