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Oceans2Earth strives to assist with local solutions to global problems. O2E was founded in Melbourne, Australia in 2010 for the purpose of providing resources and financial assistance to animal welfare and conservation projects including elephant sanctuary land in Kenya, cat and dog rescue in Africa and community recycled product projects in Asia and Africa. The O2E Foundation aims to facilitate people’s awareness of the impacts of animal tourism, trade and human intervention on the welfare, sustainability and general health of wildlife populations.

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Learn about the Ring tailed Lemur (Maki)!

The lemur inhabits gallery forests to spiny scrub in the southern regions of the island of Madagascar. It is omnivorous (eats everything!) and the most land-based of lemurs. The animal is diurnal, being active exclusively in daylight hours.

The ring-tailed lemur is highly social, living in groups of up to 30 individuals. It is also female dominant, a trait common among lemurs. To keep warm and reaffirm social bonds, groups will huddle together forming a lemur ball.

Lemurs have awesome (and sometimes freaky looking!) eyes check out this well known video clip:

A lemur love-in – The lemur ball

The ring-tailed lemur will also sunbathe, sitting upright facing its underside, with its thinner white fur towards the sun. Like other lemurs, this species relies strongly on its sense of smell and marks its territory with scent glands. The males perform a unique scent marking behaviour called spur marking and will participate in stink fights by impregnating their tail with their scent and wafting it at opponents.

As one of the most vocal primates, the ring-tailed lemur utilises numerous vocalisations including group cohesion and alarm calls. Experiments have shown that the ring-tailed lemur, despite the lack of a large brain, can organise sequences and preferentially select tools based on functional qualities.

Despite being listed as Near Threatened by the IUCN Red List and suffering from habitat destruction, the ring-tailed lemur is kept in captivity and great numbers worldwide and reproduces readily. Surely a release program would be a good idea…..???

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