Lemur Facts

Lemur Facts
Lemur is type of small primate that can be found only on the island of Madagascar. There are 5 families of lemur with more than 50 species and hundreds of subspecies. Lemurs originated in Africa, but they were outcompeted by large monkeys and apes. They had left Africa 62 to 65 million years ago and arrived to Madagascar on large rafts made of vegetation. With only few natural enemies, lemurs managed to quickly occupy the entire island and evolve into numerous species. Unfortunately, 90% of all known lemur species will probably become extinct in the next 20 to 25 years due to accelerated habitat loss and illegal hunting.
Interesting Lemur Facts:
Lemur can reach 3.6 to 27 inches in length and 1.1 ounce to 20 pounds of weight. Dwarf mouse lemur is the smallest species of lemur, while Indri lemur is the largest.
Lemur has thin fur that can be black, grey, brown or reddish colored.
Lemur has pointed nose, huge eyes and long bushy tail that is much longer than the rest of the body (it can reach 22 to 25 inches in length in the large species). Lemur has human-like hands with opposable thumbs and flat fingernails. Second toe on the hind feet is equipped with claw that is used for grooming.
Lemur is very intelligent animal. It can learn to use tool and perform simple arithmetic tasks.
Name "lemur" means "spirits of the night" in Latin, and it refers to the nocturnal nature of these animals. Despite the name, some lemurs are also active during the day.
Lemur is adapted to the life in the trees, but some species, such as ring-tailed lemur, spend plenty of time on the ground. Lemur can stand on two legs, but it always walks on four legs.
Lemur eats fruit, leaves, flowers, tree sap and bark. Plant-based diet is occasionally supplemented with small vertebrates and insects.
Lemur plays important role in dispersal of seed in the wild.
Lemur can slow down its metabolism and hibernate when food is scarce (the only primate that hibernates).
Most species of lemur live in family groups of around 15 animals. Groups can be composed of animals of both or only one gender. Dominant female is the leader of the group. Some species, such as aye-aye, are solitary.
Lemurs communicate via scent from the glands on the feet and buttocks, via loud screeching noise and by using their long tails.
The only natural enemies of lemurs (besides humans) are fossa and the harrier hawk.
Lemurs mate only when there is plenty of food. Pregnancy lasts 9 to 24 weeks (depending on the species), and ends with 2 babies in most cases. Different species of lemur can interbreed in the captivity and create new hybrid species.
Lemurs reach sexual maturity at the age of 2 years.
Lemur can survive around 18 years in the wild and up to 30 years in the captivity.

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