Ring-tailed Lemur - Duke Lemur Center
Ring-tailed lemurs live found in social groups ranging in size from three to 25 Generally males change groups when they reach sexual maturity at age three. A ring-tailed lemur photographed at Lincoln Children's Zoo in Nebraska They forage for fruit, which makes up the greater part of their diet, but also eat leaves. The ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) is a large strepsirrhine primate and the most recognized Following Linnaeus's species description, the common name " ringtailed maucauco" was first penned in by .. such as falls, infant mortality can be as high as 50% within the first year and as few as 30% may reach adulthood.
The hair on the throat, cheeks, and ears is white or off-white and also less dense, allowing the dark skin underneath to show through. Vibrissae are also found slightly above the wrist on the underside of the forearm. The ring-tailed lemur also has a rudimentary foveal depression on the retina. Another shared characteristic with the other strepsirrhine primates is the rhinariuma moist, naked, glandular nose supported by the upper jaw and protruding beyond the chin. The rhinarium continues down where it divides the upper lip.
The upper lip is attached to the premaxillapreventing the lip from protruding and thus requiring the lemur to lap water rather than using suction. It is exposed on the nose, palms, soles, eyelids, lips, and genitalia. The skin is smooth, but the leathery texture of the hands and feet facilitate terrestrial movement.
The anuslocated at the joint of the tail, is covered when the tail is lowered. The area around the anus circumanal area and the perineum are covered in fur. In males, the scrotum lacks fur, is covered in small, horny spines, and the two sacs of the scrotum are divided. The penis is nearly cylindrical in shape and is covered in small spinesas well as having two pairs of larger spines on both sides.
Males have a relatively small baculum penis bone compared to their size. The scrotum, penis, and prepuce are usually coated with a foul-smelling secretion. Females have a thick, elongated clitoris that protrudes from the labia of the vulva. The opening of the urethra is closer to the clitoris than the vagina forming a "drip tip.
The males also have brachial arm glands on the axillary surface of their shoulders near the armpit. The brachial gland is larger than the antebrachial gland, covered in short hair around the periphery, and has a naked crescent-shaped orifice near the center.
The gland secretes a foul-smelling, brown, sticky substance. The thumb is both short and widely separated from the other fingers. Despite being set at a right angle to the palm, the thumb is not opposable since the ball of the joint is fixed in place.
As with all strepsirrhines, the hand is ectaxonic the axis passes through the fourth digit rather than mesaxonic the axis passing through the third digit as seen in monkeys and apes. The fourth digit is the longest, and only slightly longer than the second digit. Likewise, the fifth digit is only slightly longer than the second. The palms are long and leathery,  and like other primates, they have dermal ridges to improve grip.
The big toe is opposable and is smaller than the big toe of other lemurs, which are more arboreal. The second toe is short, has a small terminal pad, and has a toilet-claw sometimes referred to as a grooming claw specialized for personal groomingspecifically to rake through fur that is unreachable by the mouth. Unlike other lemurs, it lacks fur on its heel right.
The ring-tailed lemur has a dentition of 2. Together with the incisor-shaped incisiform lower canines c1which are slightly larger and also procumbent, form a structure called a toothcomb a trait unique to nearly all strepsirrhine primates. It may also be used for grasping small fruits, removing leaves from the stem when eating, and possibly scraping sap and gum from tree bark.
Ring-tail groups are larger than any other lemur group, containing up to 30 animals. The DLC has two large free-ranging groups of these animals, each containing about ten individuals. There is a well-defined hierarchy within each group. Females are dominant over all males with the alpha female forming the focal point for the group as a whole.
Females live in one group their entire lives, while males migrate from group to group.
Toronto Zoo | Ring-tailed lemur
When ring-tailed troops travel throughout their home range, they keep their tails raised in the air like flags to keep group members together. Constant vocalizations among members also keep the group together. One of the most vocal primates, ring-tails have a large vocabulary of at least 28 different calls.
These include several different types of alarm calls, which alert group members to potential danger. Ring-tails bask in the sun in groups sun worshippingabsorbing the warmth of the sun through their less dense belly fur.
Two males stand facing each other a few feet apart and, repeatedly drawing their tails through these glands, proceed to wave the tails over their heads, all the while staring in a hostile fashion at their rival.
Eventually, one of the males will break down and run away.
Want to see it for yourself? Watch this video of ring-tail lemurs stink fighting in Madagascar, filmed by researcher Marni LeFleur.Amazing Animals: Meet the ring-tailed lemur troop of Jungle Cat World