Length: 38cm–45 cm plus 50cm–60cm (tail)
Around 20 years in the wild and up to 33 years in captivity.
HABITAT & DISTRIBUTION
The ring-tailed lemur lives in a wide range of habitats such as deciduous forests with grass floors, or forests along and also wet brush where few trees grow. However, it is thought that the Ring-tailed Lemur needs primary forest (undisturbed) in order to survive. They are found in southern and south western Madagascar.
WHAT THEY EAT
Lemurs are omnivorous which means they eat whatever is available! This mainly consists of plants, leaves, flowers, fruit, sap and bark. But they have also been known to eat insects, spiders, spider webs, birds and even dirt from termite mounds.
The ring-tailed lemur lives in a wide range of habitats such as deciduous forests with grass floors, or forests along and also wet brush where few trees grow. However, it is thought that the Ring-tailed Lemur needs primary forest (undisturbed) in order to survive.
- Males fighting for access to breeding females have ‘stink fights’ where they rub their scent glands onto their tails and waft their tails around.
- Females are receptive to breeding on one day only per year and all females in a troop will come into oestrus (like a season in dogs) within two weeks of each other.
- Sunbathing occurs during the early morning hours before feeding.
- Ring-tailed lemurs can be seen sitting up right with their front legs resting on their hind legs, exposing their stomachs to the sun (picture a human meditating in a yoga position with legs crossed).
- Ring-tailed lemurs have a reflective layer (known as a tapetum) in the back of their eyes similar to that of cats. This allows them to have very good vision at night.
- Lemur troops may cover as much as 5.6 km a day whilst foraging.
- Vocal and olfactory (smell) communication are both highly important to lemur troops. They have 15 different vocalisations which act to mark territories, keep group cohesion and alert others to the presence of predators.
- Ring-tailed lemurs have special teeth in their lower jaw which are known as a dental comb. These teeth, which are long and narrow and point straight out from the jaw, are thought to be used for grooming.