In our latest issue (issue 25), we take a look at why these lemurs are so endangered.
But for now – let’s get introduced!
Ghosts of the forest
The name ‘lemur’ means ghost in Latin, named because their loud ghostly calls echoed through the jungle and spooked the people who first found them. They have the second loudest call of the primates, second only to the howler monkey.
Being a messy eater has its benefits
The black-and-white ruffed lemur is known as a disperser. When they feed on the nectar of plants, it inadvertently transfers pollen from flower to flower by it’s hands. This helps with reproduction of plants and important to maintaining the ecosystem.
King of the castle
Unlike other lemurs, this one takes pride in building a nest in the trees for its offspring. They usually have twins but have been known to have up to 6 babies at a time! This is almost like nature’s insurance policy, as usually only one survives.
They are very sociable and love living in groups, but only during the good times. When food is aplenty they will travel and forage in groups as large as 26 in number. However when the going gets tough, the group splits up to around 3 or 4 individuals to increase their chance of survival.
Danger from all angles
They are usually found in the middle section of the canopy. This is partly due to the perceived risk of predation. From the ground boa constrictors are on their tails, and from the sky, eagles are circling on the lookout for dinner.