Special Sub-Topic: All About The Ring-tailed Lemur
|What is the scientific name for ring-tailed lemurs?|
Lemur catta. I'm not sure why this is the scientific name, but the make up of their eyes is very similar to a cat's meaning they have very good night vision.
|Where do these lemurs live (in the wild)?|
Madagascar. They live mostly in the south and south west of the island and guard their territories quite aggresively when needed.
|The ring-tailed lemur has a highly scented tail. What is this used for?|
Warning others. They also have scent glands in their wrists and chests which they use for marking their territories.
|How long (on average) are their tails?|
24 inches. They have 13 black and white rings round their tails which are very distinctive, hence their common name. They also keep their tails aloft whilst in a group to keep together.
|Who are more dominant?|
Females. The ring-tailed lemur social structure is very matriarchal because females remain in the group whilst males move from group to group. It is thought this is to protect the species from inbreeding.
|What is the size of an average group of these lemurs?|
Up to 25 animals. Their home range can vary in size from 15 to 57 acres.
|What is their diet mostly made up of?|
Plants. They are mostly vegetarian, but at a push they will eat insects or other small prey.
|What is the gestation period of a ring-tailed lemur?|
134-138 days. Females will usually give birth to single offspring, but twins are more common when food is plentiful. The infants will begin to eat solid food after just one week, but are finally fully weaned at 5-6 months of age.
|Ring tailed lemurs live mostly in forests and are counted as being arboreal but how much of their time is spent on the ground?|
40 per cent of the day. They spend lots of time foraging on the floor for food, and it also gives younger lemurs a chance to become more independent and spend time away from their mothers.
|What is the average lifespan of a captive ring-tailed lemur?|
20-25 years. Although in some areas these lemurs are hunted for food on the whole they are pretty well protected on Madagascar. Their biggest threat at the moment is loss of habitat. In the wild a lemur may live for up to 17-20 years.
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