Black Lemur Facts
- Firstly, many find it difficult to believe that these two individuals actually represent the same species, the Black Lemur. However, they do indeed, because of a remarkable evolutionary trait.
- This occurs due to the fact that males and females of this remarkable primate have completely different color patterns. Although this trait isn’t exclusive to this mammal, it nevertheless remains quite rare.
- Additionally, estimates place its numbers in the wild at more than 10,000 individuals. Despite these numbers, many experts consider the species threatened, much like many species in the world today.
- Finally, threats to its natural habitat, which already qualifies as restricted, continue to increase. These include deforestation due to the practice of slash-and-burn agriculture and being hunted for both food and zoos.
Black Lemur Physical Description
Quite understandably, the Black Lemur remains a rather remarkable primate. This partly occurs due to the degree of sexual dimorphism it displays. In fact, this ranks as one of the most extreme of any primate.
Firstly, males typically display black or occasionally extremely dark brown fur. Secondly, however, females present a much lighter brown color. In addition, females even sometimes develop an orange-brown color.
Furthermore, males have large black tufts on their ears, while those of the female display as white. The species also reaches an average size for a lemur, with an average head to tail length of 38 in (96 cm).
It also rarely exceeds 5 lb (2.25 kg) in weight. The eyes rank as yet another distinctive physical feature. The Black Lemur remains the only known primate other than man to develop blue eyes.
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Chordata
- Class: Mammalia
- Order: Primates
- Family: Lemuridae
- Genus: Eulemur
- Species: E. macaco
Black Lemur Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology
Rather unfortunately for it, the Black Lemur has a very limited, as well as threatened, habitat range. This range consists only of the extreme northern part of the island of Madagascar and a few nearby islands.
Its natural habitat principally consists of various regions of undisturbed tropical rainforests. Yet it has also proven itself to be highly adaptable in some instances. Some individuals have adapted to tree farms and farmlands.
The majority of individuals also tend to live as social creatures, in groups of between 7 and 10 individuals. Further, these small groups tend to follow a single female, and infighting rarely occurs.
Further, it has an omnivorous diet and prefers leaves, fruit, flowers, and also insects. This animal tends to be active by both day and night, with specific patterns. By day it forages on the forest floor, and in the canopy at night.
Finally, the species also ranks as highly intelligent. Individuals have often been observed biting toxic millipedes and rubbing the toxins on their fur. This appears to ward off pesky insects, indicating a learned behavior.