27 interesting facts about lemurs

Funny animals lemurs touch many people who happened to meet them. True, it is very difficult to meet them in the wild, and for this you will have to make a long journey, but for most, videos are enough to appreciate how original these animals are. Harmless and intelligent, they are extremely interesting in every sense, and due to this they often become the object of observation and research.

Interesting facts about lemurs

  1. The variation in size between different species is huge. The largest ones reach a weight of 10 kg, and the smallest, dwarf ones, weigh about 30 grams, that is, 30-35 times less.
  2. From the point of view of biology, lemurs are primates, like monkeys or humans (interesting facts about monkeys).
  3. The closest relatives of lemurs are loris. About 60-80 million years ago they evolved from a common ancestor when the branches of evolution split.
  4. In total, there are now 60 different species of these animals. And before, giant lemurs walked the earth, but they died out long ago.
  5. Most lemur cubs are born very weak, so about 50% of them do not live up to a year old.
  6. Thick-tailed lemurs are the only primates in the world that can hibernate. Moreover, they accumulate fat reserves in the tail, sometimes doubling their mass, and during hibernation, their body temperature can range from +10 to +40 degrees, depending on environmental conditions.
  7. Dwarf lemurs, they are also mouse, are the smallest primates on Earth.
  8. All species of lemurs, except for indri, adapt to life in captivity. But indri in such cases completely refuse to breed and become depressed.
  9. In the morning, lemurs sing loudly, declaring their rights to the surrounding territory. Really loud – their screams can be heard from a distance of several kilometers.
  10. In Madagascar, some superstitious inhabitants purposefully exterminate one of their species of lemurs, the Madagascar lemurs, because they believe that they help evil spirits in their black deeds. At the same time, indri lemurs are also respected by them, because people believe that the souls of the dead move into them.
  11. The largest of all lemurs are the aforementioned indris, but at the same time they have the shortest tails. With a body length of up to 90 cm, their tail is usually no longer than 5-6 centimeters.
  12. In the case of a forced diet, if there is not enough food, lemurs can slow down their metabolism. And koalas, for example, have slowed down their metabolism during evolutionary processes due to their low-calorie diet (interesting facts about koalas).
  13. Blue-eyed lemurs got their name for obvious reasons. Interestingly, of all primates, only they and humans have truly blue eyes.
  14. In some species of lemurs, the tail length exceeds the body length.
  15. Indri lemurs live in humid forests, but they are also found at altitudes up to 1.8 kilometers above sea level. At such a height, even a person who is not used to low blood pressure usually already feels unwell.
  16. With the help of the tail, lemurs are able to control the direction of the flow of odors. This helps them in communication, as their speech is rather poor – they use only 12 different sounds.
  17. These animals feed mainly on fruits, especially dates, which can make up to 50% of their menu.
  18. In the trees, lemurs behave very dexterously, but once on the ground, they move by jumping, while raising their front paws.
  19. Since some of the leaves that lemurs eat contain various poisonous alkaloids, these animals eat the ground from time to time. The ingested soil helps them facilitate the process of digestion and minimize the effects of the poison on the body.
  20. There are so many different lemurs on the relatively small Madagascar, because this island was inaccessible to other primates for a long time. In this isolation and in relative safety, these animals have occupied all the ecological niches that primates could occupy in the course of evolution.
  21. They feed mainly on fresh vegetation, but in case of severe hunger they even eat wood, and mostly it is already rotten and soft.
  22. Female lemurs usually carry their babies in their mouths. When they grow up, they begin to travel on their mother’s back, clinging to the wool.
  23. In ancient Rome, it was believed that lemurs are the souls of dead people who cannot find peace. Actually, the Latin name of these animals means “ghost of the night” in translation.
  24. Lemurs usually live in fairly compact groups, and they are led by females, not males.
  25. The ancestors of modern lemurs lived on the African mainland, and some of them apparently ended up in Madagascar. This saved the population, as all mainland lemurs became extinct.
  26. The exact lifespan of lemurs is not known, but it has been reported to be as long as 20-25 years.
  27. Between themselves, these non-conflict animals never arrange serious fights.
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