Ring-Tailed Lemur: Facts and Information

Here are some facts about ring-tailed lemurs.

  • Ring-tailed lemurs are a large primate found only in Madagascar.
  • They are one of the most widely recognized lemurs due to the very long, characteristic black and white ringed tail.

  • The ring-tailed lemur is a very vocal and social animal. They can live in groups of many lemurs with the females typically being more dominant.
  • Although ring-tailed lemurs readily reproduce while in captivity, they are still considered a threatened species. This is due largely to the destruction of their natural habitat – the forests and scrub land to the south of Madagascar.
  • Ring-tailed lemurs on average weigh about 4-5 lbs, and they have bodies ranging in length from 38-46 cm (excluding their tails).
  • Their tails can be more than 60 cm in length, and they are mainly used to help the animals balance.
  • Their diet mainly consists of fruit and vegetation, but they will eat insects and small vertebrates as they are known to be opportunistic omnivores.
  • Ring-tailed lemurs are territorial and they will go to great lengths to protect what they consider to be their home turf. They can stand up on their hind legs and will jump and bare their teeth back in displays of aggression. Males mark the perimeters of their home range using scent glands.
  • They are known to sunbathe with their legs extended out and their undersides completely exposed to the sun. This is very often a group activity.
  • King Julien, a character from the Madagascar animated films, is based on a ring-tailed lemur.
  • Ring-tailed lemurs are some of the most vocal of the primates. They communicate to warn each others about predators, to express contentment and to locate other members of the group.
  • Ring-tailed lemurs are diurnal – they only come out in the daytime.

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