Know Your Primate: Lemur catta

Order: Primates
Suborder: Strepsirrhini
Family: Lemuridae
Genus: Lemur
Species: Lemur catta
Common name: Ring-Tailed Lemurs
I must confess that I have a fondness for the lemurs – especially the ring-tailed lemurs.


Ring-tailed lemurs mainly inhabit the south and southwestern parts of Madagascar. They are average sized prosimians and weigh about six ponds. They are largely diurnal and are primarily terrestrial. The eat fruits and leaves and are capable of at least some ceco-colic fermentation.
lemur3.jpg
Their dental formula is 3.1.3.3 and the tympanic ring lies free in the auditory bulla. They live in groups of up to about twenty individuals. There is a dominance hierarchy for both males and females – with the females ultimately being dominant to males. The males engage in an interesting form of agonistic display. They glands on the forarms that secrete a fatty substance which they rub on their tails in order to disperse the scent.
Lemurs.jpg
about one fourth of the males leave the group upon reaching maturity and they have been known to commit infanticide during mating season. Ring-tailed lemurs also like sunbathing:
Lcatta_sunning.jpg

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6 Responses

  1. I wonder, has anybody looked to see if the ringtail’s forearm scent glands have any relationship to the slow loris’s forearm poison glands? That is, do they arise from the same genes?

  2. Off the top of my head, I do not know.

  3. Awwwww. . . .ring-tailed lemurs are *cute*!
    Anne G

  4. HEY THEY HAVE MY SAME EYES!!!!!!
    -Danielle Schyler

  5. does anyone else see a resemblance to Uma Thurman? And the Lemurs sunning look like they’re doing yoga! cute…

  6. Awww…they’re so cute & adorable!!! I wish they were pets!!!

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