Fun Lemur Facts for Kids

Lemurs are primates, just like monkeys, gorilla’s and humans. Lemurs are only found on the islands of Madagascar and Comoro. These islands are located off the coast of Africa. The word Lemur comes from the Latin word lemures meaning spirits of the night or haunter. Lemur means ghost in Malagasy a native language of Madagascar. Learn more about these interesting animals with these Lemur Facts for Kids

Lemur walking across a tree branch

Click here for more animal facts

What is a Lemur?

The scientific name is Lemuriformes. Lemurs are small primates known as prosimians, meaning pre-primates or before monkeys. Lemurs are mammals. A mammal is an animal that breathes air, has hair/fur, is warm-blooded and gives birth to babies. Humans are also mammals.
There are many different types of lemurs. The exact number is debatable. Some of the more common lemurs are the Ring-Tailed, Red Ruffed, Indri, Gray Mouse, Golden-Crowned Sifaka, Coquerel’s Sifaka, Collared Brown, Black, Aye-Aye, and Verreaux’s Sifaka Lemurs.
Scientists are still discovering new species of lemurs.

What do Lemurs Look Like?

There are around 32 types of lemurs and each species of lemur looks different. The size, coloring, and features differ by species. Most lemurs are small in size, have 5 fingers on their hands and 5 tones on their hind legs. They have big bright eyes, Common hair colors are white, brown-black, grey, and red tones.
Ring-Tailed Lemurs are the lemurs featured in the movie Madagascar and are one of the more popular types. Ring-Tailed Lemurs have similar coloring to a raccoon. They have slender bodies, a long tail, and a mouse-like face. The biggest lemurs are the Indri and the Diademed Sifaka lemurs.  They can weigh up to 15 pounds. The smallest lemurs are the Pygmy Mouse Lemurs.  They weigh as little as 1 oz.

Lemur Habitat

Lemurs can sometimes be found in zoos but they aren’t native to many places. In fact, Lemurs only live in Madagascar (an island off the coast of Africa) and Comoro Island.
They live in tropical rain forests and dry forests of Madagascar and Comoro Island. Most lemurs are arboreal. Arboreal animals are animals that spend most of their time in trees. Ring-Tailed Lemurs are no arboreal. they spend most of their time on the group. Many lemurs are nocturnal meaning they are more active at night. Dwarf and Aye-Aye Lemurs are nocturnal. The Brown, Ring-Tailed, Indris, Sifakas, and Ruffed Lemurs are diurnal. Diurnal animals are animals that are active during the day.

What do Lemurs Eat?

A lemur’s diet differs by species. Some lemurs are herbivores meaning they don’t eat meat.  Those types of lemurs eat plants, fruits, flowers, and leaves.
 Other lemurs are omnivores meaning they eat plants and meat.  Omnivore lemurs eat insects, lizards, frogs, and different types of plants.
mama and baby lemur
Mama and Baby Lemur

Lemur Facts for Kids

Lemurs live in groups of troops.
The group or troops consists of 7-10 lemurs.
Usually, one female lemur is the head of the group or troop.
Lemurs live between 20-25 years in the wild.
Many species of lemurs are endangered.
Lemurs are becoming endangered due to deforestation causing loss of habitat, hunting which is now against the law and some people take lemurs from the wild to make them pets.
When a lemur senses danger they let out a loud piercing sound to scare their predator.  Other lemurs will hear the sound and join in.
Baby lemurs are called pups.
When a baby lemur is born it stays on its mom’s back for 3 months.  After the 3 months, baby lemurs can start to find food on their own.
Ring-Tailed Lemurs are featured in the movie Madagascar.