Interesting facts about lemurs


Posted on May 17, 2022      58


Funny animals of lemurs are adorable for many people who get acquainted with them. However, it is very difficult to meet them in the wild, and to do this you will have to make a long journey, but most people have enough video clips to appreciate how original these animals are. Harmless and intelligent, they are extremely interesting in every way, and because of this, they are often the object of observation and research.

Facts about lemurs

  • The variation in size between different species is enormous. The biggest of them can reach the weight of 10 kg, and the smallest ones, dwarfs, weigh about 30 grams, i.e. 30-35 times less.
  • In terms of biology, lemurs are related to primates, like monkeys or humans.
  • The closest relatives of lemurs are loris. About 60-80 million years ago, they descended from a common ancestor when the branches of evolution split.
  • There are now 60 different species of these animals. And there used to be giant lemurs walking the earth, but they went extinct long ago.
  • Most lemur cubs are born very weak, so about 50% of them do not live to be a year old.
  • Thick-tailed lemurs are the only primates in the world that know how to hibernate. They accumulate fat reserves in their tail, sometimes doubling their mass, and during hibernation, their body temperature may vary from +10 to +40 degrees depending on environmental conditions.

  • Dwarf lemurs, aka mouse lemurs, are the smallest primates on Earth.
  • All lemur species, except the indri, adapt to life in captivity. But in such cases, indri refuses to reproduce and become depressed.
  • In the morning, the lemurs sing loudly, claiming their rights to the surrounding territory. Really loud - their cries can be heard at a distance of several kilometers.
  • In Madagascar, some superstitious residents deliberately exterminate a species of lemur, the Madagascar Rookie, because they believe they help evil spirits in their evil deeds. The Indri lemurs are respected by them because people believe that the souls of the dead move into them.
  • The largest of all lemurs are the aforementioned indri, but they have the shortest tails. With a body length of up to 90 cm, their tail is usually no longer than 5-6 centimeters.
  • With a forced diet, if there is not enough food, lemurs can slow down their metabolism. And koalas, for example, have their metabolism slowed down during evolutionary processes because of their low-calorie diet.
  • Blue-eyed lemurs got their name for obvious reasons. Interestingly, of all the primates, only they and humans have truly blue eyes.
  • In some species of lemurs, the tail length exceeds the length of the body.
  • Indri lemurs live in humid forests, but they can also be found up to 1.8 kilometers above sea level. At such an altitude, even a person unaccustomed to low pressure usually already feels unwell.
  • Lemurs can use their tails to control the direction of odor flows. This helps them in communication, because their speech is rather poor - they use only 12 distinct sounds.

  • These animals eat mostly fruits, especially dates, which may account for up to 50% of their menu.
  • On trees, lemurs are very agile, but once on the ground, they move by jumping with their front paws up.
  • Since some leaves that lemurs eat contain various poisonous alkaloids, these animals occasionally eat soil. The ingested soil helps them to ease their digestion process and minimize the effects of the poison on their bodies.
  • There are so many lemurs on the relatively small Madagascar because this island has long been inaccessible to other primates. In this isolation and in the relative safety of evolution, these animals have occupied all the ecological niches that primates could occupy.
  • They feed mainly on fresh vegetation, but in case of severe hunger, they even loot wood, and mostly already rotted and soft.
  • Female lemurs usually carry their young in their mouths. When they grow up, they travel on their mothers’ backs, clinging to their fur.
  • In ancient Rome, lemurs were believed to be the souls of dead people who could not find peace. In fact, the Latin name of these animals means “ghosts of the night”.
  • Lemurs usually live in fairly compact groups, and they are headed by females, not males.
  • The ancestors of modern lemurs inhabited the African continent, and some of them, apparently, found their way to Madagascar. This saved the population, as all mainland lemurs became extinct.
  • The exact lifespan of lemurs is not known, but reportedly it can be as long as 20-25 years.
  • These non-conflicting animals never have serious fights among themselves.

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