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Zooville's Lemurs

 
 
 
 

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RINGTAIL LEMURS

 

Taxonomy:

Kingdom - Animalia
Phylum - Chordata
Subphylum – Vertebrata
Class – Mammalia       
Order – Primate
Family –  Lemuridae
Genus –  Lemur
Species –  catta

Misc.:

The lemurs biggest factor in its decline in numbers is the continuous and rapid deforestation by clearing for industry and plantations, timbering for local use and export, and slash and burn agriculture.  

Size and Appearance:

Ring-tails have a head and body length of 15-18 inches with a tail length of 22-24.5 inches.  They weigh between 5-8 pounds.  The upperparts are brownish gray and the underparts are whitish, and the tail is ringed with black and white.  Their palms and soles are long, smooth and leather like.  This allows them a firm footing on slippery rocks.  Ring-tails differ from other lemurs in that they have scent glands on their forearms

Habitat: 

This lemur is sometimes found in thinly wooded country and ranges farther into the interior highlands of Madagascar than any other lemur. 

Distribution:

Southern Madagascar.

Reproduction and Offspring:

 Ringtails mate from about April to June and give birth from August to October, just before the start of rainy season.  Births are synchronized to within just a few days of each other.  Females typically give birth to a single young, although twins are not uncommon.  For the first 2 weeks the baby will ride on its mother’s belly, and after that on her back.  They may suckle for up to 5 months but will take solids during its second month.  Females generally first conceive at 20 months, and males are able to reproduce at 2.5 years but the adult males may not allow them to breed.   

Social System and Communication:

Ringtails are found in groups of 12 to 24 with no consistent leadership.  Males and females have separate dominance hierarchies, with the females always dominant over the males.  The basic group structure is that of adult females and their infants, juveniles, and sometimes 1 or more dominant males.  Females remain in their birth troops while the males move among troops. Females are responsible for territorial defense.  As the territories are well defined and non-overlapping, when two troops meet, the females will run at each other emitting loud vocalizations, but physical contact is rare.  Fifteen different vocalizations have been identified, including a howl which can be heard to humans from a distance of 3200 ft.

Hunting and Diet:

Their diet includes mostly fruits, some leaves and other plant material, and only rarely insects.  

Information taken from Walkers Mammals of the World.