The Ring-Tailed Lemur (Lemur catta) is only found of the southwestern side of the island of Madagascar, off the coast of continental Africa.
The Ring-Tailed Lemur has a long narrow face with a protruded black nose. Its fur is called pelage. The pelage is grey or brown, with a white or cream face and underbelly. Its orange-brown eyes are masked with black triangular patches.
It has leathery hands and feet that help it climb in trees and along the ground. It spends a third of the time on the ground. Its fingers are slender, padded, and semi-dexterous with flat, human-like toenails. The thumb is not opposable (like the opposable thumbs of humans) because the ball of the joint is fixed in place.
It is a primate mammal with a long, black and white ringed tail of 12-13 white rings and 13-14 black rings. The tail always ends with a black tip. The Ring-Tailed Lemur’s tail is longer than its body. It is 39-46 centimetres (15-18 inches) long and its tail is 56-63 centimetres (22-25 inches) long.
The Ring-Tailed Lemur is diurnal, because it is active exclusively in daylight hours.
The Ring-Tailed Lemur is highly social, living in groups of up to 30 individuals. The group is female dominant.
To keep warm, the Ring-Tailed Lemur will huddle together. It also sunbathes, sitting upright with its thinner white fur towards the sun.
The Ring-Tailed Lemur is an omnivore, eating fruit, leaves, plants, insects, spiders, grasshoppers, and small birds and chameleons.
Females have two pairs of mammary glands, but only one pair is functional. Females are pregnant for about 135 days before giving birth to one baby. The young lemurs eat solid food about two months after birth. In the group, allomothering occurs, which means that many mothers will look after a baby lemur.
Lemurs live to 16-27 years.
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM