Things we didn’t know about Lemurs

(Lemurs) live in matriarchal troops, with an alpha female at their head. When ring-tailed lemurs are cold and frightened, or when they want to bond, they group together in a furry mass known as a lemur ball, forming a black and white sphere that ranges in size from a football to a bicycle wheel….

Lemurs are strange in the way that the reclusive and wealthy are strange; having had an island(Madagascar) to themselves to evolve in, they have idiosyncratic habits. Male ring-tailed lemurs have scent glands on their wrists, and engage in ‘stink-fighting’ battles in which they stand two feet apart and wipe their hands on their tails, then shake the tail at the opponent, all the while maintaining an aggressive stance until one or other animal retreats. It feels no madder than most current forms of diplomacy.

There are at least 101 species and sub-species of lemurs in Madagascar…The aye-aye lemur is thought in some areas to be able to prophesy death: they have vast eyes, large sensitive ears, and a  middle finger that’s twice as long as their other digits…

They’re unbeloved and hunted relentlessly The word lemur comes from the Latin lemures, meaning ‘ghost’…

Now, largely due to deforestation, 24 species are critically endangered, 49 are endangered and 94% of all species are threatened.

Let us hope the species can survive…


Katherine Rundell London Review of Books 5-07-2018

9 thoughts on “Things we didn’t know about Lemurs

  1. Regina introduced us to lemurs when she did a detailed paper about them in about fifth grade. They were an obsession for a while, but this is the first that I’ve heard about the stink-fighting or the lemur balls. Thanks for this —

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