- Scientific Name:
- Lemur catta
- Park Location:
- Dry forests of South and South-West Madagascar
- The word ‘lemur’ is translated from the Latin word for ‘ghost’ due to strange calls these animals make.
- King Julien in the film ‘Madagascar’ is a Ring Tailed Lemur!
This species is very easy to distinguish, with its grey/brown fur on its back, white fronts, black eyes, and black and white banded tail. It is generally quite active during the day time, however when sleeping they will often curl up into a ball, wrapping its tail around itself.
Group sizes can reach up to 25 individuals with the females being the dominant one of the sexes. One alpha female will be in charge, with the other individuals following in a hierarchy.
These lemurs are sun worshipers - they will happily spend large amounts of time sitting with their limbs spread out absorbing the rays from the sun. They also scent mark either with their anal glands (females) or their wrists (males). Males will rub their tails with their scent and waft it towards the females to attract a mate. After mating, the female will be pregnant for 130-144 days and will give birth to one infant, or sometimes twins. They can then live to be around 15 years old.
This species has many human threats in the wild such as habitat loss, hunted for food, capture for the pet trade and charcoal production. It is also at risk of being predated upon by the fossa (the largest predator on the island) and birds of prey.