The Ring-tailed Lemur Of Madagascar
The Ring-tailed Lemur of Madagascar beckons you to join him at the San Diego Zoo. These Lemurs live in almost complete isolation on the Island of Madagascar and other small nearby islands. They live nowhere else in the world and are one of the world’s most endangered species. When you look at the Lemur you might wonder if he is a cat. Or is he a mouse? Or could he be a raccoon? It is clear that they are a Ring-tailed Lemur when you look at their tail. They can often be found in many zoos world-wide. This little fellow calls the San Diego Zoo home.
These Ring-tailed Lemurs love to go leaping from tree to tree. Their unique hands and feet allow them to move through the trees with ease. They are awesome to watch as they fly through the air, making their way from one tree to another. They have many similar talents that as their cousins the ape and the monkey. However, unlike some of their cousins, they can not use their tails as the fly from tree to tree. Depending on how large they are, the Ring-tailed Lemurs often make their homes in the fork of branches or holes they may find. They also use leaves in many of their homes. Now that is ingenious! These little mammals are creative! They are inventive! They are imaginative!
The Ring-tailed Lemur spends a lot of his time on the ground. This is quite different from other Lemur species. Most Lemur species spend almost no time on the ground. They are not as graceful on the ground as they are, when leaping from tree branch to tree branch. They stand tall on their hind legs, but usually move about on all fours.
Lemurs have unique and extremely powerful stink glands under their tails. They love to mark their territory for all to know. This decisive action tells other troops that this space is owned by this troop. Believe me, if you can smell, you will smell these efficient manuals when they mark their territory. During mating season, each male will all try to out stink the other. Wow, that can be for one smelly area!
The Ring-tailed Lemur is a Herbivore. He spends much of his time forging for fruit, which makes up most of his diet. He also likes leaves, the bark of trees, flowers of many kinds, and the life-giving sap of the tree. What a healthy diet! Maybe, we need to take lessons.
The Ring-tailed Lemur lives in groups, known as troops. These troops can vary in number from 6 to 30 Lemurs. An average size troop is around 17. All troops have both male and female with one of the females being dominate. She is in charge of the troop!
Madagascar has a mountain range which splits the country in half and creates many different climates. They have green lush rainforests, with the West side of the mountain being dry and the South is extremely dry. These small mammals evolved to fill the niches of each area. There is one type of Lemur that spends his life in the marshes of Madagascar, feeding on the reeds of the marsh. There are many types of Lemurs, each one has his own special niche in the country of Madagascar and his own specialized diet. The Ring-tailed Lemur is no exception, as he lives in an area where fruits and leaves are abundant with beautiful blossoms and trees with life-giving sap. It almost sounds like Lemur paradise!
The Ring-tailed Lemur is happy and content at the San Diego Zoo. San Diego is usually sunny and dry and many types of bushes, berries, flowers, and other fruits grow almost wild. This makes this area perfect for these Herbivores. As long as there is plenty of food, and lots of trees, they are happy campers. Have you ever considered coming to visit? They promise to provide entertainment! What an adventure it is to spend the day at the San Diego Zoo. The days are sunny and warm, but not too hot and rarely get too cold. Why not bring the whole family and make it a Zoo adventure? The Ring-tailed Lemur is waiting with all his friends.
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