Where do lemurs live?
Lemurs are amazingly beautiful animals that belong to the wet-eared primate. There are more than 100 species of these animals. The species combined in 5 families have common characteristics and individual features. We are talking about the size, color, habits and lifestyle. Consider where lemurs live.
In ancient Greek mythology, ghosts were called lemurs. Later, this name stuck to the small animals with massive eyes, causing terror among residents.
According to history, in ancient times, huge lemurs lived on the territory of the island state. The weight of which often reached two hundred kilograms. Today there are no such giants among the lemurs.
Short-tailed Indri - representatives of the largest species. They grow up to 60 cm in length and weigh about 7 kg. There are among these primates and crumbs. Dwarf mouse lemurs grow up to 20 cm in length and weigh no more than 50 grams. Consider the other features of these mammals.
- The lemur has a dense, oblong body and a small, rounded head with an elongated, pointed maw.On the sides of the oral cavity are several pairs of vibrissae responsible for touch.
- Lemur is characterized by large, close-set, saucer-like eyes. Eyes are surrounded by a dark strip of wool, providing the effect of painted eyes. Therefore, the expression of the animal, even in a calm state, is a cross between fear and surprise.
- The rows of primate teeth have a non-standard structure. The incisors located on the upper jaw are set wide apart. Bottom incisors are in close proximity to the canines and have a forward bend, providing the effect of "dental comb".
- These mammals have prehensile limbs with five fingers. There are nails on the fingers with the exception of the second toe of the foot. It is equipped with a long claw used by animals for hygienic purposes.
- All lemurs have thick hair. In some species it has a gray-brown color, in others it is black and white, in the third it is red-brown. A special color is inherent in the cat lemur. Wide black and white stripes cover its long, spiral tail.
- Fluffy, long, luxurious tail - a distinctive feature of the lemur, which plays an important role in life.With the help of the tail, the animals communicate and maintain balance when jumping. Only in the short-tailed indri, in spite of the impressive size of the body, the length of the tail does not exceed 5 cm.
I think by this point you have seen that this wonderful animal has a truly exotic appearance. It is not surprising that lemurs cause a furious interest in humanity.
Habitat and habits of lemurs
In nature, lemurs are found in Madagascar and the Comoros. In ancient times, primates inhabited the islands completely, but over the years the area of distribution has declined, and now they live exclusively in wooded areas. Today, many species are listed in the Red Book, so animals need protection and gentle treatment from humanity. Now about the lifestyle.
- Most primates spend time on trees. Using the tail as a balancer, they quickly and dexterously move from branch to branch. Lemurs rest in the trees, bask in the sun and even breed. If the animal is on the ground, it still moves by jumping, using 4 limbs.
- They sleep on the branches, clasping the tree with their feet and forelegs.Some build shelters that resemble a bird's hollow. During the rest in such a home you can find up to 15 sleeping individuals.
- Almost all types of lemurs are public animals living on their territory. They live in family groups of up to 25 individuals, in which a strict hierarchy prevails. At the head of the team is a female. Provided with power, it has several advantages regarding food and first chooses a partner with the onset of the marriage period.
- There are features in the breeding process. Over time, the female gives life to one baby, which is born 222 days after conception. For the first 2 months, a prehensile cub hangs on the mother's coat. Later, a small primate makes independent forays, and becomes completely independent at the age of six months.
- The number of females and males in the pack is approximately equal. After puberty, young females remain in the maternal pack, and males often move to other families. Although lemurs are social animals, loners and couples living separately are often found.
- The area of the territory belonging to one family often reaches 80 hectares.Members of the herd mark the boundaries of possession with urine and secret, aggressively and stubbornly guarding against encroachment by outsiders. Marking the site lies on the shoulders of all members of the family. Primates make claws on the bark of trees deep scratches and mark the fragrant secretion of glands.
- Lemurs use grunting sounds or a piercing scream to communicate. Some species with the onset of the dry period fall into a cordon. Being in a state of low activity, the body of the animal uses the accumulated fat.
- Lemurs are considered long-lived. In their natural environment, they live up to 35 years. At home, they often live longer if the owner provides the animal with proper care and proper nutrition.
The behavior, as well as the lifestyle of lemurs, fully corresponds to their unique and interesting appearance. It is hard to believe that these amazing little animals scare to death the inhabitants of the islands they inhabit.
How and what do lemurs eat
Lemur is a herbivorous primate. However, food depends largely on the type of mammal. The main part of the diet is represented by fruits, tree leaves, flowers, young shoots, tree bark and seeds.
Bamboo and golden lemurs eat bamboo shoots and foliage, and the cat lemur prefers fruits of Indian date. Indri eat exclusively vegetable food, and insect larvae are included in the ration of Madagascar mitts from coconuts. The most multifaceted diet of the dwarf lemur. This animal willingly eats pollen of plants, pitch, nectar, larvae and tiny insects.
Food of animal origin in the diet of the lemur plays a secondary role. Most often, bugs, praying mantises, butterflies, crickets, cockroaches and spiders fall on the table. Small gray chameleons and tree frogs are also present in the diet of the gray mouse lemur. Dwarf species does not mind regale and small birds. It is noteworthy that representatives of the Indri species, besides plant food, use the earth, which neutralizes the effects of poisonous substances in plants.
The diet of lemur is not particularly nutritious, so individuals spend a lot of time on rest. If we talk about food in the zoo, the animal quickly gets used to any food. Primate grabs food with his teeth or takes the front limbs and sends them to the mouth.
Lemurs from the cartoon "Madagascar"
In 2005, the animated film Madagascar appeared on a wide screen. The picture quickly gained popularity in the world. One of the main characters of the cartoon was a lemur named Julian.
Julian is a cat lemur. In the wild, this animal lives in Madagascar. Body size and walking, accompanied by a highly raised tail, primate strongly resembles a cat.
It is noteworthy that the cat lemur has exactly thirteen strips on its tail. This is his business card.
In nature, cat lemurs start the day with a sunbath. They sit comfortably and warm the belly in the sunshine. Upon completion of the procedure, go to breakfast. They eat fruits, leaves, flowers, cacti and insects.
In nature, lemurs of this species are common. Nonetheless, the threat of extinction loomed over. According to statistics, only 50,000 individuals live on the planet, so the cat lemur was added to the Red Book.
Recently, the cat lemur has been a favorite of tourists visiting Madagascar.
Where do lemurs live in captivity
Many species of lemurs from Madagascar are in danger of extinction. This is the merit of humanity, which actively destroys the natural habitats of these primates. More animals are actively caught for resale.This is due to the increasing popularity of breeding as a pet.
In many countries of the world, lemurs are bred in special nurseries, where living conditions are as close as possible to the natural environment. There are similar institutions in Russia, but they are few, since the breeding of lemurs is a costly and troublesome occupation, as is the breeding of penguins.
Can I keep a lemur at home?
Lemurs are easily tamed. These small primates are obedient and do not show aggression, that is why they are so popular among breeders of exotic animals. To make the animal comfortable in the house or apartment, it is recommended to ensure proper conditions before purchasing a pet.
- To keep a lemur at home, you will need a spacious cage or a large terrarium. In the house it does not hurt to install tree branches or several artificial vines.
- The bottom of the dwelling is recommended to fall asleep with dry sawdust. The filler will have to be changed often, since primitive to the tray, unlike a kitten, will not work. The lack of regular cleaning in the terrarium will cause an unpleasant smell.
- In the cloister of lemur does not interfere with a small box with cotton or dry grass. This place will serve as a bedroom for relaxation or a comfortable pastime. Need a small drinking bowl.
Lemur has thick hair, but despite this, it does not like drafts. It is recommended to take this into account when choosing a place for arranging the abode of an exotic pet.
Lemurs show the highest activity in the evening and at night, therefore it is better to feed the animal at this time. The diet should include various foods. We are talking about boiled beets and potatoes, cabbage, lettuce, cucumbers and radishes, fruits, cereals, boiled meat and bakery products.
Lemurs like sweets. Include nuts, honey and dried fruits in your diet. Periodically indulge animals with crickets, cockroaches or meal worms. Insects are sold in pet stores.
Lemurs fall into the category of non-conflict animals and easily get along with dogs and cats. With proper care, the pet will not break anything, gnaw and break.