brown lemur for sale
Made even more famous by the movie Madagascar, lemurs are charismatic and adored for their unique way of walking and ‘skipping’ across the ground. These animals are not monkeys, they are primitive primates called prosimians. In the world of pet primates, they are one of the more commonly encountered species after the small “finger monkeys” (marmosets and tamarins). Like all primates, lemurs are high-maintenance pets to own, but they are known to have better temperaments than most monkeys.
Lemurs in the wild
Lemurs are a diverse group of primates endemic to Madagascar. There are around 100 species that range in size from the 30 gram mouse lemur to the largest species, the indri. As their populations are restricted to an island nation where much human encroachment and deforestation occurs, all lemur species are endangered, and 90% of lemur species are expected to become extinct within the next 20 years. In response to the seasons of their island home, lemurs exhibit different adaptations such as low metabolic rates to conserve energy for the dry season, seasonal breeding, hibernation and matriarchal societies. Lemurs also have variable morphology and diets.
- All lemurs exhibit omnivory to some extent, however the smallest species tend to consume fruit and insects and the larger diurnal lemurs are mostly herbivorous.
- Lemurs are able to synthesize their own vitamin C.
- Lemurs have varying degrees of social behavior. Some live in sex-specific groups, ‘fission-fusion’ societies, or pairs. Nocturnal lemurs will forge for food alone but nest in groups.
- Tool use has not yet been observed in lemurs in the wild, although they tend to manipulate objects with their mouth more often.
Housing pet lemurs
When it comes to keeping pet lemurs, private owners do things differently. Some owners can ‘get away’ with keeping lemurs in very large parrot cages, but this is not ideal and the animal will absolutely require plenty of out-of-cage time daily. This can be frustrating to the owner if the animal is not well-behaved indoors with poor ‘house manners’. Therefore, providing a very large enclosure starting around 8’x6’x8’or a designated room will benefit the owner and lemur.