Lemurs: What You Should Know

Lemurs are primates. So they are related to the apes and also to us humans. There are about a hundred species of lemurs. They live almost exclusively on the island of Madagascar. Only two species are also found on Comoros, an archipelago just west of Madagascar. So they are endemic there.

Lemurs can look very different. The mouse lemur, a very small lemur, weighs only a few grams and does not grow more than six inches. The largest is the Indri. He is as big as a small child when fully grown.

Lemurs have fur. Her long, bushy tail is about as long as her body. They have nails on their fingers and toes. They also have a grooming claw that they use to groom their fur. The arms are shorter than the legs in most lemurs. In contrast to other primates, there are hardly any size differences between the sexes of lemurs. In some species, however, the females have a different coat color.

The lemurs mainly live in trees. They only come down to the ground occasionally. They climb a lot and jump from tree to tree to get around. Sometimes they also walk on all fours. Most lemurs are more active at night. During the day, they build nests out of leaves or retreat into tree cavities and other hiding places to sleep.

Some lemurs are herbivores. They mainly eat fruit and drink nectar from flowers. Others also eat animals, mainly insects, spiders, and millipedes. Sometimes small vertebrates and bird eggs are also part of the menu.

Lemurs live in groups like most primates. There are hardly any loners. In most species, males and females remain loyal to each other for a very long time. Gestation in lemurs lasts between three and six months. Lemurs mate so that birth falls at the end of the dry season. Then it has a lot of food for the young animals.

Most species of lemurs are threatened with extinction. The main reason is humans. It destroys the habitat of lemurs in Madagascar. A lot of rainforests are being burned to make room for agriculture. Some people also hunt lemurs because their pelts are in high demand.

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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