Genus & Species: Lemur catta
Listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List.
Bush forests areas. Mostly lives on the ground in dry, rocky areas with sparse vegetation.
4 to 7 pounds. Including tail, 37-42 inches long.
20 or more in captivity.
Primarily vegetation. A few insects are added to their basic diet of leaves, flowers, stems, and fruit.
The bold black markings on the face and the conspicuous black and white rings on the tail make ring-tailed lemurs easy to identify. As an adaptation to walking around on slippery rocks, the feet and hands have well developed leathery soles. The big toe, large and developed for grasping in more arboreal lemurs, is small in the ring-tailed lemurs. ring-tailed lemurs have conspicuous glands on the inner side of both wrists and also in the chest region.
Gestation: 120 to 136 days.
Offspring: Usually one but often two.
The female suckles her babies from two nipples on her chest. The young cling to her belly or back as she moves about feeding and socializing.
- Ecology, Adaptations, Etc:
This is a very social primate. In the wild, they are found in troops ranging from 5 to 25 or more. Communication within the troop is both vocal and chemical. The wrist glands play a large role in “scent fights,” in which the tail is pulled through the two wrists while chemical secretions saturate the fur. Then tails are waved in the air in a ritualistic manner.