The ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) is a companionable primate that comes from the African island nation of Madagascar. These diurnal lemurs occupy their time in the trees and on land, although they just slightly favor trees. They are prevalent in gallery forests, scrubland, thickets and rainforests, where they spend their time in social units known as "troops." Ring-tailed lemurs usually also prefer open, dry and rugged settings. These lemurs, true to their naming, possess lengthy tails that have prominent "rings."
Upon full maturity, ring-tailed lemurs usually weigh somewhere from 5 to 7 pounds, according to the Zoo Atlanta. With their tails taken into consideration, ring-tailed lemurs' bodies generally are between 37 and 43 inches long. Females often are just a tiny bit smaller than the males.
The length of the ring-tailed lemur tail exceeds that of the body. Their furry tails, which are adorned with thick black and white striping, usually are approximately 22 to 24.5 inches or so, according to Animal Diversity Web of the University of Michigan. The tails has 13 stripes in total.
Ring-tailed lemurs' bodies usually are pinkish-brown to grayish in color, indicates the Smithsonian National Zoological Park. Their necks and heads are a deeper gray than other parts of their physiques. Their undersides are whitish, as are their faces and hands. Their hairless noses are black, and their eyes are surrounded by black or deep brown fur, as well. Their near-black skin is visible through their belly regions.
Other Physical Features
Though ring-tailed lemurs have short frontal legs, their back legs are lengthy. Their ears jut out. Ring-tailed lemurs have slightly wet noses that have coarse hairs that stick out, called the vibrissae. Their eyes are on the big side, and their snouts are somewhat angular and pointy. Ring-tailed lemurs' second toes feature extended claws that they use for hygiene purposes. The rest of their nails, however, are totally level. Both genders possess scent glands on their arms. However, the male scent glands are significantly more pronounced than those of the females. In the ring-tailed lemur world, smell is an oft-used means for conveying messages.
- University of Wisconsin Madison National Primate Research Center: Ring-Tailed Lemur
- Duke Lemur Center: Ring-Tailed Lemur Fact Sheet
- National Geographic: Ring-Tailed Lemur
- Cougar Mountain Zoo: Ring-Tailed Lemur Facts
- Smithsonian National Zoological Park: Ring-Tailed Lemurs
- SeaWorld Animal Bytes: Ring-Tailed Lemur
- University of Michigan Animal Diversity Web: Lemur catta
- IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: Lemur catta
- Hemera Technologies/Photos.com/Getty Images