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Logan: Female, born on March 28, 2001 at the Birmingham Zoo. Arrived at the Philadelphia Zoo on August 4, 2003.
Iris: Female, born on May 3, 2005 at the Philadelphia Zoo.
Cleveland: Male, born on May 15, 1997 at Indianapolis Zoo. Cleveland arrived at the Philadelphia Zoo on December 15, 2011.
PECO Primate Reserve
Ring-tailed lemurs have gray or brownish-gray fur on most of the body, with white fur on the belly, face and ears, and black patches around their brown eyes. Their most characteristic feature is the long tail, ringed in black and white.
Ring-tailed lemurs are found in dry forest and "spiny forest" habitats in southwestern Madagascar. Ring-tailed lemurs spend much of their time on the ground and this species is the only living semi-terrestrial lemur - all other living lemur species are much more arboreal.
Ring-tailed lemurs can live beyond 20 years of age, although a typical lifespan for ring-tailed lemurs is about 17 or 18 years in zoos. In the wild, it is rare for a ring-tailed lemur to live beyond 16 years of age, although some individuals have lived to be 18-20 years old.
Like most lemurs, ring-tailed lemurs have a particular breeding season. In the wild in Madagascar, in the southern hemisphere, most babies are born August-October. In zoos in the U.S., in the northern hemisphere, the breeding sesaon is reversed, and most babies are born March-May. This switch probably happens beacuse the lemurs' reproductive cycle is cued by changes in day length - the daylight period getting longer or shorter. Since these changes are reversed between Madagascar, in the southern hemisphere, and the U.S, in the northern, so is the ring-tailed lemur's breeding season.
The ring-tailed lemur gestation period is about four and a half months. Births are usually single, but twins are not uncommon. The mother initially carries the infant on her belly. Infants are usually weaned by about 5 months of age.
A ring-tailed lemur troop is usually centered around a core group of females and their offspring. Group size can range from three to over twenty individuals.
Ring-tailed lemurs have scent glands on their wrists and upper arms. Males have a small spur near each wrist, which they use to scratch branches before rubbing their scent in to mark the location. Males also rub secretions from their glands on their tail and then wave the tail around during aggressive interactions with other males, dispersing the scent. These interactions are sometime scalled "stink fights."
Ring-tailed lemurs are about 17 in (43 cm) long (head and body) and the tail is about 2 ft (61 cm) long.
Average weight for a wild ring-tailed lemur is about 5 lbs (2.3 kg). In zoos, they tend to weigh a little more, and average weight is about 6 lbs (2.7 kg). Males and female are about the same size.
In the wild, ring-tailed lemurs eat a wide variety of foods, including fruit, leaves, flowers, bark, sap, herbs, insects and other small animals. At the Zoo, lemurs eat a specially-formulated primate chow, as well as fresh produce such as carrots, oranges and brussel sprouts. The lemurs are also occasionally given other enrichment chows, raisins and yogurt.
There are more than 30 species of lemurs, most of which are found only on the island of Madagascar, located off the eastern coast of southern Africa. Ring-tailed lemurs live in both wet and dry areas of southwestern Madagascar.
On the 2011 IUCN Red List for Threatened Species, the ring-tailed lemur is listed as Near Threatened.
To learn more about the conservation efforts at the Philadelphia Zoo, click here.
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