At the Cincinnati Zoo at Lemur Lookout.

Ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) live in social troops of a dozen or so, led by a single, dominant female. Lemurs have pungent scent glands they use for communication and even battle. Male ring-tailed lemurs compete for mates by smearing scents from forearm glands onto the tips of their tails. Raising their tails over their heads, they wave them in front of their opponent’s face until one backs down. The stink fight victor gets the girl.

Ring-tailed lemurs spend more time on the ground than other, more arboreal lemurs. Females cooperate when it comes to caring for young, allowing each other to play with, babysit, and even nurse their young.The lemur’s tail can grow up to two feet long, which is longer than the rest of the body.Sunbathing is a popular activity for ring-tailed lemurs as they sit with their limbs splayed out to expose their bellies to soak up the sun’s warmth. '


  • Pronunciation: LEE-mur
  • Where to see them:
  • Height: 15 to 18 in
  • Weight: 5 to 8 lbs
  • Lifespan: 20 to 25 years in the wild
  • Habitat: Arid, open areas and deciduous forest
  • Diet: Fruits, leaves, flowers, herbs, bark and occasional insects
  • Risk Status: Species at Risk (IUCN-Vulnerable)
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