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Ring-tailed Lemur (Lemur catta)

Recently, a 21-year-old lemur was stolen from a San Francisco zoo. Thankfully, it was found a few days later in a nearby neighborhood. The guy who stole this lemur also stole 500 dollars in groceries and a truck. What is a lemur? Let's learn more.

Physical Description and Behavior

Ring-tailed lemurs have gray to reddish-brown backs, with gray limbs, white on their bellies, and distinctive face markings. They are named due to the 13 alternating white and black stripes that are on their tails.

Fun Fact: Olfactory communication is very important in a lemur society. They use anogenital sweat glands to mark their territory so other lemurs know to stay away. When males are fighting other males, they will often coat their tails in this secretion and wave the scent at the other male lemur.

Lemurs form social groups ranging from 3 to 35 individuals. Each individual will travel upwards of 3.5 miles each day in search of food. The female also wears the pants in these groups, being able to choose who to mate with and what food they want to eat. Females have to fight among themselves to see who gets the highest rank.

Habitat and Location

They are found only in a small part of southwest Madagascar. Because of this, and their decreasing population, the IUCN Red List considers them to be endangered. As of 2017, only about 2000 ring-tailed lemurs are believed to exist in the wild. The most common reasons seem to be deforestation and overall habitat loss. Over 90% of Madagascar's original forests have been logged.

Find out more about the ring-tailed lemur by checking out the video below:

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