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!