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Lemurs

 

Lemurs are primates, monkey cousins, found only on the island of Madagascar, off the coast of Africa. Here are some facts about two species of lemurs.

FIVE COOL FACTS ABOUT RINGTAIL LEMURS:

  1. Females in charge: In a lemur troop (group), the females rule, getting the best food, defending the troop, and deciding who to mate with.
  2. Chatty lemurs: Ringtails are some of the most "talkative" of all primates (the group that includes monkeys and apes). For instance, they have several different alarm calls to alert members of their group to danger.
  3. Often getting down: Ringtails may spend half of the day on the ground.
  4. See them for yourself: Ringtails are the most common lemur found at zoos.
  5. Look out: In the wild, ringtails have to watch out for predators: snakes, hawks, eagles, and cat-like mammals called fossas. People's free-roaming cats and dogs also have lemur lunches.

 

 

NINE FAST FACTS ABOUT EASTERN LESSER BAMBOO LEMURS:

  1. Where: Groups of eastern lesser bamboo lemurs spend most of theit time up in the rain forest trees, leaping from branch to branch.
  2. A typical day: The group of lemurs munches on bamboo early in the morning—then again in the late afternoon or early evening. They nap during the heat of the day.
  3. Nightie Night: Each day after their last meal, the group settles down for the night. They huddle together in a clump of bamboo or in the crotch of a tree.
  4. Predators: Enemies of this lemur include certain owls, hawks, snakes, the fossa (a bobcat-sized mammal), and humans. When alarmed, a lemur will drop to the ground and freeze. . . or move away quietly.
  5. Babies: A lemur mom usually has just one baby a year. Babies are born in the spring.
  6. Grooming: Grown lemurs groom each other with their teeth and tongue, picking through their fur to get rid of dead skin and tiny pests.
  7. Baby on hold: Mom often "parks" her baby on a branch in the middle of a thick bamboo grove. (It's such a tangled mass of branches that predators can't easily get to the baby.) She'll return from time to time to groom her baby and let it nurse. 
  8. Baby clingy: Sometimes a slightly older lemur baby gets clingy. This happens especially when a mom is trying to wean the youngster (that is, get it to stop nursing). The baby will hop onto Mom's neck and not want to get off. Some moms won't allow this. So then a baby may jump onto a brother or sister in the group and hitch rides with them.
  9. Baby grows up: Before long, a young lemur is leaping from branch to branch on its own!

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