Our Red Ruffed Lemurs

The Red Ruffed Lemurs are native to Madagascar, as are all lemurs.  Scientists think they floated over to the island about 65 million years ago.  When they got there it was pretty much uninhabited so they took over.  There are over 100 species of lemurs and the Red Ruffed are the largest in the family Lemuridae!  They get up to about 8.5 pounds on average.

Being the largest made them a target for fur and exotic meat traders, so this species is critically endangered now.  There are roughly 30,000-50,000 individuals left in the wild.  They have a small native range, but there is a national park right on top of it protecting this species fairly well.  They also have 2-6 per litter which is a fairly high number for being a larger species.

Lemurs are diurnal animals, meaning they’re active at dawn and dusk.  The golden eyes that you see on them are for seeing at darker times of the day, but not in complete darkness.  During the day they usually lounge around on branches relaxing, at night is when they actually sleep.

They also have opposable thumbs on their hands and on their feet! Meaning they can grab onto anything with everything. Their natural eating posture is upside-down, and they do not use their tails to do that, instead they’re going to use their back two feet! So the tail is nothing more than a balance tool or visual signal for them.

Pictured Above: Bijou (male), Chloe (female)