30 Fascinating Facts About Lemurs

Did you know that lemurs have scent glands located in their wrists? These unique mammals are truly amazing creatures, so let’s dive into some fun facts about them!

The name Lemur comes from the Latin word for “spirits of the night”. Lemurs are native to Madagascar and are a species of primate known as ‘Prosimians’. Ring-tailed lemurs are known to spend more time on the ground than other species of lemurs.

The smallest species of lemur is the Dwarf Mouse Lemur, also known as the Pygmy Mouse Lemur, which weighs only 30 grams. On the other hand, the largest species of lemur can weigh up to 15 lbs. Blue-eyed lemurs are one of two non-human primates to have truly blue eyes.

Lemurs have flat fingernails similar to human beings and they use their tails for balance and communication within their species. Their tails are longer than their bodies, measuring up to 22 inches in length. The second toe of each hind limb has a “Toilet Claw” which lemurs use for grooming.

Lemurs have a diverse diet consisting mostly of fruit and leaves. Fruit from the Tamarind tree can make up approximately 50% of their yearly diet. They also eat flowers, insects, herbs, decayed wood, bark, and sap. When there isn’t much food, lemurs will simply hibernate for a while.

Lemurs bask in sunlight during the morning and this is often a group activity. They also use scents to communicate with other lemurs. Their tails can be used as a form of communication when wafted through the air while carrying a scent. Lemurs compete with other males by having what is called a “stink war” using the glands in their wrists to scent their tails.

Lemurs mature at two years, but many babies don’t live to be that old. They live about eighteen years, have scent glands in their wrists, and are good adapters as they can slow their own metabolism and reproduce less when needed.

Although many people may not like to see animals in zoos, lemurs actually do well in captivity. They used to live in Africa, but monkeys there were too much of a competition for the lemurs. Madagascar, where they currently live, is the fourth largest island in the world. Most species of lemur spend a majority of their lives high in the trees they live in.

Due to their arboreal lifestyle, lemurs can do amazing things such as making a sashay-like movement on their hind legs with their arms stretched above them as they move along the ground. Unfortunately, the Aye-Aye Lemur is often trapped and killed because the people there believe them to have a supernatural link to “evil spirits”.

In summary, lemurs are fascinating creatures with many interesting traits and behaviors. From their scent glands to their unique communication methods, there’s no denying that lemurs are truly one of a kind.

FAQ

1. What are lemurs?

Lemurs are primates that are native to Madagascar. They have distinctive features such as large eyes, long tails, and pointed ears. There are over 100 species of lemurs, and they range in size from the tiny mouse lemur, which weighs less than an ounce, to the larger indri, which can weigh up to 20 pounds.

2. Why are lemurs important?

Lemurs play an important role in the ecosystem of Madagascar. They help to disperse seeds and pollinate plants, which is crucial for maintaining the island’s biodiversity. Additionally, lemurs are a popular tourist attraction and have become a symbol of Madagascar’s unique wildlife.

3. What is the biggest threat to lemurs?

The biggest threat to lemurs is habitat loss due to deforestation and slash-and-burn agriculture. As Madagascar’s population grows, more and more forests are being cleared for farming and logging, which is pushing lemurs to the brink of extinction.

4. Can lemurs be kept as pets?

No, lemurs should not be kept as pets. They are wild animals and require specialized care that most people are not equipped to provide. Additionally, the illegal pet trade is a major threat to lemurs and is contributing to their decline in the wild.

5. What is the best way to help lemurs?

The best way to help lemurs is to support conservation efforts in Madagascar. This can be done by donating to organizations that work to protect lemur habitat, promoting sustainable tourism practices, and raising awareness about the importance of lemurs and their habitat.

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