Lemur animal<<<< Back to wild animals
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Chordata
- Class: Mammalia
- Order: Primates
- Family: Lemuridae
- SuperFamily: Lemuroidea
- Conservation status: Threatened
- Length: 9 - 99cm (3.2 - 38in)
- Height: 40 - 70 cm
- Weight: up to 10 kg (22 lbs)
- Food: Omnivore
- Speed: 20km/h (12mph)
- Predators: Hawk, Fossa, Wild dogs
- Sexual Maturity: 2 - 3 years
- Gestation Period: 130 - 166 days
- Population: 7.6 million on 24.02.2014
- Lifespan: 10-14 years
- Litter size: 3 - 5 infants
- Distinctive Feature: Large eyes. Long body and tail.
The lemur (Lemur catta) is a primate solitary mammal, which lives in the rainforests of Southeast Asia.
The meaning of the word Lemur comes from Latin mythology and it means ghosts or spirits. This may be related to the drawing on their faces, to the eyes and nose outlined with black circles and to the fact that lemurs are most active at night.
The lemurs are primates found only in Madagascar and several neighboring islands. Because of its isolation from the rest of the world, Madagascar became the habitat of surprising and unusual species that can not be found anywhere else in the world.
Their diet is highly variable. It is omnivorous and feeds mainly on insects, lizards, fruits, buds and leaves.
The lemur is an arboreal animal, nocturnal, measuring 18-45 cm and with a tail of 30 cm. It has enormous eyes, fingers used for grabbing and opposable toes. The height of the tallest lemurs reaches up to 45 cm and their tail is usually longer than their body, up to 55 cm.
Family Cheirogaleidae consists of the mouse lemurs (smallest of all primates), the dwarf lemurs, and the fork-marked lemurs and their allies. There are 37 extant species.
Family Lemuridae consists of the ring-tailed lemur, the brown lemurs, the bamboo lemurs and the ruffed lemurs. There are 21 extant species and six subspecies.
Family Lepilemuridae consists solely of the sportive lemurs. Family Daubentoniidae contains only one surviving species, of the aye-aye. Wide-ranging genetic studies have shown that it separated from the ancestral lemurs long before any other branch of the modern Lemuriformes.
The lemur females are dominant and each group is led by such a female-leader. This female has the advantage of being the first to choose the food and male to mate with. A lemur characteristic is the long and always wet nose. Lemurs have a very good sight, perfect even at night.
The lemur's secret is a gland with a characteristic smell, which they use as a method of communication, but also as a weapon against enemies.
Breeding periods depend on temperature and food available in the season. The mortality rate is relatively high among adults. The gestation period varies depending on the species, from 9-10 weeks to 18-24 weeks. After the gestation period the small lemurs are born, between 1 and 4. When traveling, the cubs hold on to their mother’s fur on the belly or neck.
A lemur in captivity can live twice more than in the wilderness. Larger species can live over 30 years, with no signs of aging and capable of reproduction.
Did you know that:
They say that there existed a lemur almost as big as a bear.
Lemurs are not prehensile, meaning they can not use the tail to cling onto trees.
Besides humans, the black lemurs are the only primates that may have blue eyes.