Animals of the world, Lemur

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Lemur (640x499)

  • Lemurs are a special group of primates that evolved before monkeys and apes, found only on Madagascar and the Comoro Islands. The ring-tailed lemur is the most widely known
  • Lemurs range in weight from the 30-gram (1.1 Oz) mouse lemur to the 9-kilogram (20 lb) Indri lemur
  • They vary in colour from reddish brown to grey, and come in all different sizes, too.
  • On their feet, they have a widely abducted Hallux (first toe) which facilitates the grasping of tree limbs
  • Lemurs are generally the most social of the strepsirrhine primates and communicate more with scents and vocalizations than with visual signals.
  • Lemurs live in groups that usually include fewer than 15 individuals.
  • In many nocturnal species, the females, along with their young, will share nests with other females and possibly one male. In addition to sharing nests, they will also interact vocally or physically with their range-mate while they forage at night
  • The presence of female social dominance sets lemurs apart from most other primates and mammals
  • Lemur diets are highly variable, although general trends suggest that the smallest species primarily consume fruit and insects (omnivore), while the larger species are more herbivorous, consuming mostly plant material. As with all primates, hungry lemurs might eat anything that is edible, whether or not the item is one of their preferred foods
  • The jumping prowess of the Indri have been well documented. Using their long, powerful back legs, they catapult themselves into the air and land in an upright posture on a nearby tree, with both hands and feet tightly gripping the trunk
  • Lemurs can, on average, live between 23 and 25 years, but larger species can live for more than 30 years without showing signs of aging

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