Lemurs are mammals of the order Primates. They live only on the island Madagascar. Most of them are small, have a pointed snout, large eyes, and a long tail. These cute animals have woolly fur which can be reddish, gray, brown or black. Among other markings, they also have eye-rings or crown patches.
What do lemurs eat?
Like meerkats, these animals also live in groups of ten or more. Most of their time is spent in the trees eating fruit, leaves, buds, insects, and small birds and birds’ eggs. Although, their diet varies among different species. Some, for example, are mainly insectivorous, whereas others feed almost exclusively on foliage.
All lemurs breed seasonally, and females may have only one fertile day during the entire year. Single offspring are usually born after two to five months gestation. The newborn lemur then clings to its mother’s underside until it is old enough to ride on her back. The gestation period varies within species, ranging from 9 weeks in mouse lemurs to 18 to 24 weeks in others.
Lemurs have low basal metabolic rates. This means they can conserve energy during the dry season, when water and food are poor. They can optimize their energy use by lowering their metabolic rate to 20% below the values predicted for mammals of similar body mass. But, they do get prepare for the dry season. Before that, they will accumulate fat in white adipose tissue located at the base of the tail and hind legs, doubling their weight.
Lemur communication can be transmitted through sound, sight, and smell. Visual signals are probably the least used by them, since they lack many of the muscles used in common primate facial expressions. Given their poor vision, whole-body postures are probably more noticeable. Small, nocturnal lemurs mark their territories with urine, while the larger, diurnal species use scent glands located on various parts of their anatomy.
This cute animal would be pretty interesting as a pet, don’t you think?
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