Scientific name: Lemur catta
Life expectancy: 15 years in the wild.
Gestation period: 135 days.
Lifestyle and Location:
- The ring-tailed lemur is a frugivorous and its diet consists of leaves, fruits and flowers.
- It lives in Madagascar, mainly in the south, and lives in lowland forests and spends more time on the ground than any other lemur.
- They live in groups of up to 30 individuals called “troops”.
- They also spend a lot of time on the ground on all fours unlike other lemurs who live their whole life in trees.
This lemur has a black and white striped tail, black patches over the eyes of furry white face and a white belly with grey fur over the rest of its body. It also has yellow eyes with round pupils like most other lemurs. They usually weigh around 2.2 kg and 42.5 cm with a 60 cm tail on top of that.
- The ring-tailed lemur uses its tail as a flag to show their troop where they are, particularly in long grass, much like coatis.
- They are completely independent from their mothers at 4-6 months
- Every morning between 5:30 and 8:30 they do something called “sunning” and sit on their backsides in a meditation like position with their arms spread in front of them above their legs, exposing their bellies, this is to warm them up.
- They have “stink fights” where the male lemurs rub their tails in their scent glands of their wrist and chest and then waft their tail towards the other male and lasts until one male backs off and can last up to an hour!
- The female is the dominant gender in all lemurs species.
- The males have “spurs” on their wrists next to their scent glands and for 20 minutes – 2 hours during the day they go out to scent mark trees, leaving a mark visible from 7 meters away. This is for territorial purposes.