Ring Tailed Lemur

Theme area:  Meet the Lemurs
Scientific name:  Lemur catta
Class:  Mammals
Continent:  Africa
Habitat:  Tropical forest
Diet:  Herbivorous
Weight:  2.3 - 3.4 kg
Size:  40 cm
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Here at the zoo, we're home to 4 sub-species of lemur:

  • Ring-tailed.
  • Red-fronted.
  • Red-ruffed.
  • 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.

Conservation status
Extinct
Extinct in the wild
Critically endangered
Endangered
Vulnerable
Near threatened
Least concern
Insufficient data
Not evaluated
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