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Small Mammals

Ringtailed Lemur

They spend a great deal of time on the ground in thinly wooded areas, walking on all fours with its tail in the air. They live in troops of between 3 and 30 mostly dominated by females.

Both vocal and scent signals are important to the Ring-tailed Lemur's communication: fifteen distinct vocalisations are used to maintain group cohesion during foraging and alert group members to the presence of a predator. The stripy tail is used as a flag when they are walking on the ground, held aloft where others can see. The tail is also used in "stink fights" where the animals rub their tails against scent glands on their arms and wave them over their heads at the opponent. Lemurs have longer and more sensitive noses than other primates. This also suggests that smell is an important way of communicating with them.

DID YOU KNOW? Although they are capable climbers, they spend a third of their time on the ground foraging for food.

Current Status

  • Least Concern
  • Near Threatened
  • Vulnerable
  • Endangered
  • Critically Endangered
  • Extinct in the Wild
  • Extinct

Key Facts

Omnivorous, invertebrates, fruit and leaves.
Lemuridae
20+ years captivity
Near Threatened
South and South West Madagascar.
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