The Ring-tailed Lemur (Lemur catta) is a large Strepsirhine primate and the most recognized lemur due to its long, black and white ringed tail. It belongs to Lemuridae, one of four lemur families. It is the only member of the Lemur genus. Like all le
The Ring-tailed Lemur is highly social, living in groups of up to 30 individuals. It is also female dominant, a trait common among lemurs. To keep warm and reaffirm social bonds, groups will huddle together forming a lemur ball. The Ring-tailed Lemur will also sunbathe, sitting upright facing its underside, with its thinner white fur towards the sun. Like other lemurs, this species relies strongly on its sense of smell and marks its territory with scent glands. The males perform a unique scent marking behavior called spur marking and will participate in stink fights by impregnating their tail with their scent and wafting it at opponents. As one of the most vocal primates, the Ring-tailed Lemur utilizes numerous vocalizations including group cohesion and alarm calls. Despite the lack of a large brain (relative to Simiiform primates) experiments have shown that the Ring-tailed Lemur can organize sequences, understand basic arithmetic operations and preferentially select tools based on functional qualities. Despite being listed as Near Threatened by the IUCN Red List and suffering from habitat destruction, the Ring-tailed Lemur reproduces readily in captivity and is the most populous lemur in zoos worldwide, numbering more than 2000 individuals. It typically lives 16 to 19 years in the wild and 27 years in captivity.