Today on Light Future Art, we’re going to share some fascinating fun facts about lemurs!
1. Lemurs live in troops, a group of about 10-30 individuals led by a dominant female lemur. Lemurs are very social and need to be around each other. Some lemurs spend their days alone foraging, but they still form groups at night to sleep.
2. Lemurs who live in large troops have been shown to have better problem-solving skills and memory than those living in small troops. Lemurs display the ability to remember sequences, find patterns, and even do some math, and the lemurs with the biggest social circles perform better in all these categories.
3. Aside from humans, lemurs are the only other primates who can have blue eyes. Specifically, blue-eyed black lemurs are the only other primates to have this unusual iris color.
4. Many species of lemur sunbathe in the morning. They sit in a cross-legged position that makes them look like they’re meditating so that the sunlight hits their stomachs where their fur is thinner.
5. Lemurs have connections to folklore and mythology in two different, though surprisingly similar, ways. The Malagasy people of Madagascar believe that Indri lemurs contain the spirits of those who have passed away, and so these lemurs are sacred to them. The name “lemur” comes from the Latin word “lemures”, which means shades from the Underworld. During the Roman, Lemuria festival, lemures would be offered gifts of food and then chased away back to the Underworld at the end of the night.
6. Lemurs become more and more popular the more skills they develop. In studies, lemurs who were able to solve problems the fastest or learn new skills before other lemurs received more attention from the other lemurs in the form of grooming and the other lemurs wanting to be close to them.
7. Indri lemurs sing to and with one another to communicate. Many lemurs often sing in harmony with one another.
8. A study published in 2013 found that mouse lemurs display consistent personality traits. By providing different tests for the lemurs like watching their response to an unknown object or type of food. The researchers were able to determine that some lemurs were noticeably shyer than others.
9. Baby lemurs, called pups, are reliant on their mothers for the first six months, after which time they can begin to forage on their own and leave her side. Fully growing up, though, takes most lemurs over three years.
10. Lemurs are the oldest type of primates in the world. Well before humans existed, lemur ancestors were living side-by-side with dinosaurs, 70 million years ago! Read more about prehistoric lemurs here!
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