Friday, February 26, 2010

Got Lemurs?

I took this picture last summer when I was down in California and visited the San Diego Zoo. It's a little fuzzy because it's cropped hard, but I love the expression on this lemur's face. At the time, my picture book Lemur Troops & Critter Groups wasn't out yet, but I could have stood and watched these animals all day. Not only are they cute, but they're fun to watch.

Although my book has the word lemur in the title, it's not just about lemurs. There are 21 different animal groups featured. However, Nikki Shoemaker's illustrations on the lemur page is probably one of my favorites. In the book, which features rhymes of animal congregations, all the lemurs have broken femurs. Nikki drew them with casts on their legs and one is scratching it with a straightened out coat hanger. The expression on his face is priceless! Here are some facts about lemurs ...
  • Lemurs are native to the islands of Madagascar and Comoros
  • Their name comes from the Latin word ghost
  • There are 5 families of lemurs and over 30 species
  • An extinct lemur weighed as much as 400 pounds
  • On average, lemurs weigh from an ounce to 15 pounds
  • Lemurs are arboreal, meaning they live in trees
  • Only the ring-tailed lemur spends more time on the ground
  • Most lemurs are diurnal, awake in day and asleep at night
  • Lemurs have nails, not claws, as well as opposable thumbs
  • Females are dominant and one usually leads the group
  • Lemurs eat fruit, leaves, edible plants, and insects
  • Unlike monkeys, lemurs cannot hang from their tails
  • Lemurs have a good sense of smell and vision
  • Lemurs do not make good pets -- they spray to mark territory
  • Most lemurs are on the endangered or threatened list

So, there you have it. Probably way more than you ever wanted to know about lemurs. However, if you want to see some super cute ones, check out my book because Nikki has done such an incredible job drawing them!


  1. Lemurs totally creep me out...but so do turtles.

    I like koalas.

  2. Wow, they're fascinating little critters, aren't they : )?

  3. LOL Jonathon! My youngest doesn't like them either. Anything that looks even somewhat like a monkey, he is freaked out by. He won't even walk BY them at the zoo. We have to literally drag him by and then he relaxes again.

  4. I think lemurs are so much cuter than monkeys. My kids have always loved them, even more now since the movie Madagascar :)

  5. My boys have loved these creatures since Zaboomafoo.

  6. I have never had the opportunity of seeing a live lemur, sigh....

  7. Ha! I love lemurs. He's like, "Don't mess with me." :)

  8. He's cute. Great facts about them, thanks!


  9. Not creepy at all - I think they're beautiful.

  10. Wow - lots of un facts! This one looks like it's rubbing its feet after a long day - almost human.

  11. How he's looking at me !I think he wants to be my friend!!

  12. I love lemurs. They are so fascinating.

  13. Well, I had to read this blog to my son Ryan who is 5 because Madagascar is his favourite all-time movie (well except for the Hot Wheel movies of course!) He wanted it noted that you missed a very important fact about lemurs and that is that they speak. And what do the say you might ask?

    "We got to move it, move it"
    Of course! lol