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Ring-tailed lemur

Also known as: Lemur catta

Lemurs are primates found only on the African island of Madagascar and some tiny neighbouring islands.


Due to its geographic isolation, Madagascar is home to many amazing animals found nowhere else on earth. Lemurs may have floated there eons ago on “rafts” of vegetation and evolved in isolation over countless centuries.

Ring-tailed lemurs are unmistakable because of their long, vividly striped, black-and-white tail. They live in groups known as troops. These groups may include six to 30 animals, but average about 17. Both sexes live in troops, but a dominant female presides over all.

Quick facts

Class: Mammal
Size: Head and body 45cm, tail 50cm
Weight: 5 to 7.5lbs
Life span: Up to 18 years in the wild
Diet: Herbivores
Threats: Habitat reduction
Habitat: Forests
Distribution: Madagascar
Conservation status: Endangered (EN)

Ring-tailed lemurs rub stinky secretions into their tails and wave them at rivals.