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Lemur Facts

Five groups that classify all living things
A group of animals within the animal kingdom
A group of animals within a pylum
A group of animals within a class
A group of animals within an order
Scientific Name:
The name of the animal in science
Lemur Catta
The animal group that the species belongs to
What kind of foods the animal eats
How long (L) or tall (H) the animal is
9-100cm (3.2-39in)
The measurement of how heavy the animal is
0.03-10kg (0.06-22lbs)
Top Speed:
The fastest recorded speed of the animal
20km/h (12mph)
How long the animal lives for
10-14 years
Whether the animal is solitary or sociable
Conservation Status:
The likelihood of the animal becoming extinct
Least Concern
The colour of the animal's coat or markings
Grey, Brown, White, Black
Skin Type:
The protective layer of the animal
Favourite Food:
The preferred food of this animal
The specific area where the animal lives
Dry forest and tropical jungle
Average Litter Size:
The average number of babies born at once
Main Prey:
The food that the animal gains energy from
Fruit, Leaves, Insects
Other animals that hunt and eat the animal
Hawk, Fossa, Wild dogs
Special Features:
Characteristics unique to this animal
Long body and tail and large eyes

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Lemur Location

Map of Lemur Locations
Map of Africa


The lemurs is a primate native to the island of Madagascar, a large island off the south east coast of Africa. There are approximately 10 different species of lemur inhabiting the island where the lemurs spend most of their time in the trees.

Lemurs are best known for their large, round reflective eyes and their wailing screams. Lemurs also have furry, pointed ears and long tails, with lemurs often being compared to both monkeys and squirrels.

The lemur will eat most small things from berries, nuts and leaves to insects and spiders and therefore the lemur has an omnivorous diet. Lemurs get most of their food from the surrounding trees but lemurs will occasionally forage for grub on the forest floor if they have no luck in the branches.

The black and white ruffed lemur, the russet mouse lemur, the woolly lemur, the aye aye and the ring tail lemur are among the most common species of lemur found in Madagascar, although the Aye Aye is considered to be a species of lemur very different from the rest, mainly due to the long middle fingers of the aye aye which it uses to get food out of holes. There are four main types of lemur containing nearly 100 different lemur subspecies between them.

The biggest threat to the lemur is deforestation, with around 90% of the Madagascan jungle having been destroyed. This means that the lemur populations are declining rapidly as the lemur has fewer trees to make its home in.

The apex predator of Madagascar, the fossa, is also a big threat to the lemur, as lemurs are one of the favourite meals of a fossa. The lemur has fast reactions and is very agile which allows it to try to escape the fossa, but the fossa is a very stubborn and lightening quick animal, so the lemur generally becomes dinner.

The most commonly known species of lemur is the ring-tailed lemur. with this lemur being very distinctive by the black and white ring markings on the lemurs tail. The ring-tailed lemur has a grey coloured fur and white tufts on its ears.

Lemurs are small-medium sized primates with adult lemurs growing to a maximum of around 70 cm tall (plus their long tail which is often nearly as long as the body of the lemur). Lemurs also have sharp claws on their feet which enable the lemur to hold onto tree branches, particularly useful when the lemur is trying to escape from a hungry fossa!

Lemurs are one of the few animals that live in a matriarchal society, which means that the female lemurs have more control over the group than the male lemurs. These lemur groups however, behave in a very similar way to other primates as they feed and groom each other, as well as sleeping close to one another. It is not known why lemurs exhibit this rare form of social structure.

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First Published: 10th November 2008, Last Updated: 10th September 2018

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2. David Burnie, Kingfisher (2011) The Kingfisher Animal Encyclopedia [Accessed at: 01 Jan 2011]
3. David W. Macdonald, Oxford University Press (2010) The Encyclopedia Of Mammals [Accessed at: 01 Jan 2010]
4. Dorling Kindersley (2006) Dorling Kindersley Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 10 Nov 2008]
5. Richard Mackay, University of California Press (2009) The Atlas Of Endangered Species [Accessed at: 01 Jan 2009]
6. Tom Jackson, Lorenz Books (2007) The World Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 10 Nov 2008]