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Interesting facts about lemurs

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We found 18 interesting facts about lemurs

The lemur is a symbol of Madagascar and the self-proclaimed King Julian XIII, the hero of the Madagascar film series, a beloved character by all.

Lemurs are primates from the family Lemuridae. These are unusual animals, recognizable by their contrasting colors and huge eyes. Their name comes from Latin and means "spirit of the night." This is an endemic species, found naturally only in Madagascar. Popularized and loved through films, they will always be associated with I Bend My Body and King Julian. Here is some information about the interesting lives of these fascinating animals.

1

Lemurs were unknown to mankind for quite a long time.

It was only in 1758 that they were discovered in Madagascar and described for the first time. They came to Europe in the 16th century.
2

There are about a hundred species of lemurs, although their number is still a matter of debate among researchers.

Many superstitions arose around these animals, some species were considered to bring bad luck, others were considered sacred.
3

They live in the southwestern part of Madagascar.

Most of them live in the treetops, with the exception of the ring-tailed lemur, which mainly moves on the ground, in open, dry, rocky areas, sparsely covered with forest.
4

They are medium-sized mammals but vary in size.

The smallest (Microcebus berthae) is 92 mm long and weighs 30 grams, while the largest living (Indris and Sifaka) are 92 cm long and weigh between 7 and 9 kg. Average weight 2,5-5 kg.
5

Most lemurs are active at night, only ring-tailed lemurs are active only during the day.

6

Lemurs have fluffy, soft fur, often in contrasting colors.

They are characterized by large eyes, set close together and directed forward. Despite their wide field of vision, lemurs have poor eyesight. Their eyes glow in the dark, which can cause fear.
7

Lemurs' tails make up about 50% of their body length.

The long tails have 13-15 white and black stripes. Tails serve as a direction indicator during migrations, as well as a scent signal. Lemurs rub their tails with gland secretions. The smell of the tail is of great importance during mating and fights between males.
8

Lemurs have no or vestigial upper incisors.

They are herbivores. They eat leaves, stems, seeds, fruits, flowers. They can also feed on insects and bird eggs; some species eat honey and readily drink water.
9

They have sublingual.

This is a hard fold at the bottom of the tongue.
10

The sense of smell is a particularly well-developed sense in lemurs.

Lemurs communicate using pheromones. Animals mark this place with urine and substances from the aromatic glands located on the wrists, inner areas of the elbows and neck. The location of the glands depends on the species.
11

Lemurs are social animals.

They live in small groups, usually about 15 individuals.
12

Matriarchy reigns among lemurs.

Females are dominant over males. They communicate using various sounds reminiscent of whales, police sirens and even laughter.
13

Lemurs have fingerprints on their prehensile hands.

14

The natural enemy of lemurs is the Madagascar fossa.

This is the largest carnivorous mammal of Madagascar.
15

They are the only primates that can slow down their life processes through hibernation.

Hibernation is a physiological state of the body that involves turning off thermoregulation, a significant slowdown in vital processes and a decrease in body temperature. Hibernating animals (especially smaller species) consume less energy and are more resilient to adverse environmental conditions.
16

Lemurs, unlike other primates, do not use facial expressions.

They have poorly developed facial muscles or their complete absence.
17

The ring-tailed lemur cannot distinguish between red and green, only yellow and blue.

18

Madagascar Aye-ayes live in Madagascar.

For many years, scientists did not know how to classify aja-adje. They were originally classified as rodents and squirrels, but they also have many similarities with cats. Ultimately, DNA tests showed that the aye-ayes belonged to lemurs.
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