Lemurs

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Animal File

Common Name:
Lemurs
Scientific Name:
Lemur catta
Size: 40 cm
Weight: 2.3 - 3.4 kg
Mammals
Herbivores
Native to Africa
Rain Forest

Conservation Status

Endangered

Here at the zoo, we're home to 4 sub-species of lemur - ring-tailed, red-fronted, red-ruffed and grey mouse. They eat carrots, seeds, fruit and vegetables, rice, mealworms and vitamins.

All lemurs originate from the island of Madagascar off the east coast of Africa, but numbers are declining due to loss of habitat, drought and the bushmeat and pet trades. These amenable primates can live for up to 18 years in the wild.

Ring-tailed lemurs live in groups called troops which vary from 6 – 30 members, although the average is 13 – 15. One or two babies are born each year and they begin life clinging to the underside of their mother, close to her teats for feeding. As they grow, they move onto their mothers’ backs until they become fully independent.

Lemurs can often be seen with arms outstretched when the sun’s shining. They’re not practising yoga, but absorbing heat from the sun into their white bellies. They enjoy bonding through grooming and the teeth in their lower jaws form a “toothcomb”. These are also used for feeding and scraping the bark from trees. Lemurs use powerful scent glands on their wrists and bottoms to mark their territory.

 

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