If you conjure up a mental image of a lemur, what does it look like?
The chances are good that your mental picture has a grey body, a white face with black eye-fur, and a long, black-and-white banded tail: a ring-tailed lemur, or Lemur catta. These lemurs are the most well-known species of lemur, and are featured in everything from movies and television to children’s toys and cereal boxes.
Ring-tailed lemurs are appealing and interesting, of course: they love to sunbathe, and males daub their tails with scent to participate in so-called “stink fights.”
However, many lesser-known lemur species are just as fascinating as the ring-tailed lemur (and, sadly, often much more endangered). Read on to learn more about some of Madagascar’s magnificent lemur species.
10. Crowned Lemur (Eulemur coronatus) — above
Crowned lemurs are named for the V-shaped, crown-like marking they have on their forehead. They live in close-knit, female-led social groups on the northern tip of Madagascar. They’re one of the few lemur species that dares cross the tsingy (razor-sharp limestone rock formations): every night before sunset, groups carefully climb through the sharp rocks to reach a safer resting place. Their incisors and canine teeth form a special “toothcomb,” which they use for grooming and tidying their fur.
They are classified as Vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List.