Thursday, May 26, 2011

Ring-Tailed Lemur

Lemur catta
The Ring-Tailed Lemur is perhaps the best recognized of all the Lemurs, due to it's fantastic black and white ringed tail. Like all Lemurs, the Ring-Tailed live on Madagascar, an island that they evolved on in isolation for around 50 million years!

Ring-Tailed Lemurs are an arboreal species, and are great climbers thanks to their nimble hands. Interestingly, their tails are not prehensile, which differs from some of their other primate relatives. Instead, its long length is used to aid in balance and for communication. This species is also notable among Lemurs because they spend a great deal of time on the ground, foraging for fruits.

Ring-Taileds have several different forms of communication. They live in groups of up to 30 individuals that are led by a dominant female. They use their tails to keep their groups together and to spot out rivals. They also use a huge range of vocalizations and facial expressions in their communication, as well as scent glands.

Ring-Tailed Lemurs are declining in population due to habitat loss and hunting. Luckily they have been gaining some protection on their home island, and they breed well in captivity.

IUCN Status :  Near Threatened
Location : Madagascar
Size : Body Length up to 18in (46cm), Weight up to 7.5lbs (3.4kg)
Classification : Phylum : Chordata -- Class : Mammalia -- Order : Primates
Family : Lemuridae -- Genus : Lemur -- Species : L. catta

1 comment:

  1. Their tails are so long. You would think that the tail would hinder movement.


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