Lemurs are known for their unique appearance—with their big eyes, long tails, and fuzzy fur. Found only on the island of Madagascar, there are over 100 species of lemur. They come in all shapes and sizes, from the tiny mouse lemur, which can fit in the palm of your hand, to the larger ring-tailed lemur.
Unfortunately, lemurs face many threats, including habitat loss and hunting. Many species are now endangered. Still, lemurs continue to capture the hearts and imaginations of people around the world.
1. The Original Sun-Worshippers.
When lemurs sunbathe, they’ll stretch out their arms and legs and soak up the rays, almost like they’re doing a yoga pose. They’ll even turn their bellies towards the sun to absorb as much warmth as possible. Because of the way it looks, this behavior is known as sun-worshipping.
Curious about the science behind lemur sun-worshipping? See, lemurs have a lower body temperature than humans and need to regulate their temperature to stay healthy.
By basking in the sun, they increase their body temperature and get a boost of vitamin D, which is essential for their bone health. It’s like a natural therapy session that leaves them feeling relaxed and rejuvenated.
2. Smell That? Lemurs Love to Leave Their Scent.
A Lemurs scent is like a fingerprint. Since the fragrance is generally musky and fruity to the discerning nose, it’s like a billboard saying, “This space is mine.”
Lemurs have scent glands on their wrists that they rub together to mark their territory and they’ll rub their scent on just about anything they can find. What’s most interesting is the scent isn’t just to mark territory but also to communicate and mate.
3. Sleeping is Their Super Power.
Some species of lemurs, like the fat-tailed dwarf lemur, have the incredible ability to hibernate for up to 7 months of the year.
During this time, these little furry balls of adorableness reduce their body temperature, slow down their metabolism, and basically hit the snooze button on life. They actually store fat in their tails to use as energy while they’re in hibernation! It’s like having a built-in energy bar that lasts for months.
4. They are Other-Worldly Whistlers.
Lemurs use a combination of vocalizations, scent marking, and visual displays to communicate with each other, but there’s one sound in particular that’s sure to send chills down your spine—the lemur ghost call.
They use it to signal danger, alert their group to the presence of predators, or simply to say, “Hey, I’m over here!”
When you see a group of lemurs communicating with each other, it’s like watching a well-choreographed dance. They’ll make eye contact, use their bodies to convey messages and emit a range of vocalizations that would make a choir jealous.