Did you know the ring-tailed lemur is found only on the island of Madagascar? At least 50 different species of lemurs call Madagascar home, though some estimates go up to 80 species; all of which are found only here and nowhere else on Earth?
King Julien, the self-proclaimed ‘Lord of the Lemurs’ from the hit animation series Madagascar, is a ring-tailed lemur, a postcard species of the exotic Madagascar island, off the southeastern coast of Africa. One can spot them in groups basking in the early morning sun, with their arms outstretched, getting their daily dose of vitamin D perhaps! They are highly social animals, generally roaming in groups of 15 to 20 individuals. Females are the bosses of the ring-tail society, generally staying with the group they were born in for their entire lifetime. On the other hand, males tend to avoid trouble and keep shifting from one group to another. The core group of females always feeds or drinks first from prized trees or waterholes, whilst the males wait for their turn or feed alongside on less-favoured trees. Ring-tails have powerful scent glands, which they use to both communicate and defend themselves. In fact, during mating season, males battle for superiority by trying to out-stink one another. Their characteristic long tail is covered with scent and waved in the air to determine dominance. Ring-tails are found only in south Madagascar and unfortunately are threatened by habitat destruction of their sparse and dry forest home.
Author: Sanctuary Asia, First appeared in: Sanctuary Cub, September, 2014.