The Lemur is a native of Madagascar. They are also found at Comoro Islands.
The word Lemur is Latin and means “spirits of the night”.
The average life span of a lemur is up to eighteen years.
The smallest species weighs about 30 grams (1 ounce) while the largest species weighs about 10 kilograms (22 pounds).
The Lemur is the smallest of all primates and very few people even realize that they belong to this particular type of animal.
A whole family of mouse lemurs (mother, father, and two to three young) could fit neatly in the palm of your hand.
There are over fifty species and around one hundred subspecies of lemurs and the diversity of theseanimals is amazing.
They are mainly nocturnal animals but they can be active during the day as well.
Lemurs see very well at night but also rely on their sense of smell to help them get around and to recognize each other.
Lemurs use scents to communicate with other lemurs.
They have special scent glands on their wrists and bottoms that leave scent trails on branches to mark their territories.
Lemurs live in families of up to 15 members.
Lemur societies are almost all matriarchal.
The diet of a lemur consists mostly of fruit and leaves, and when possible, fruit from the Tamarind tree can make up about 50% of their yearly diet.
Lemurs also eat flowers, insects, herbs, and decayed wood, as well as bark and sap.
When there isn’t much food, lemurs will simply hibernate for a while.
Most lemurs spend their time up in the trees, resting, sleeping, feeding, and even giving birth.
They are good adapters as they can slow their own metabolism and reproduce less when needed.
Lemurs used to live in Africa, but monkeys there were too much of a competition for the lemurs.
Most lemurs are either endangered or threatened wildlife, and many species of lemurs have already gone extinct.
Blue-eyed lemurs are one of two (non-human) primates to have truly blue eyes.
Black-and-white ruffed lemur mothers make a nest for the birth and care of her babies, lining it with her own hair.
The sounds heard from lemurs vary with each species and can include grunts, loud alarm calls and sounds that sound like the mewing of a cat, chirps, and wailing calls that are reminiscent of whale songs.
Ring-tailed lemurs use their tail for communication.
Like dogs, lemurs have wet noses.
Of all the primates, lemurs are the most different from human beings.
In Malagasy culture lemurs, and animals in general, have souls (ambiroa) which can get revenge if mocked while alive or if killed in a cruel fashion.
Lemurs are mentioned in sailors’ voyage logs as far back as 1608.
Lemurs have become popular in Western culture in recent years. The original 2005 animated film Madagascar was seen by an estimated 100 million people in theaters.