Kids Caught Completely Offguard When A Lemur Approached Them And Placed A Unusual Request
The lemur is one of the most popular animals in the world. The seemingly-cuddly primates are furry, with expressive faces and amazing tails. What’s not to love? Lemurs only exist in the wild in remote areas and are some of the most endangered species, a fact which makes seeing one so amazing. Here’s one little lemur that put on some antics for a group of excited children!
That seemed to be the sentiment of both the lemur and this group of children in Madagascar. The two children were just hanging around one day when a friendly lemur showed up looking for some attention.
The children couldn’t wait to oblige the little lemur, stroking its fur. They giggled and laughed as the lemur showed them how they should scratch his back. It was a dream come true to get so close to such a fun animal. They both seemed absolutely delighted.
Madagascar is the only country on earth where lemurs still exist in the wild. They are the most endangered species in the world. Habitat destruction is pushing them into more populated areas, where humans are more likely to be found. There are dozens of varieties of lemur, but the most well-known is the ring-tailed lemur. The character of King Julien in the Madagascar franchise is a ring-tailed lemur.
13. Pygmy Lemurs
The smallest lemur is called a pygmy mouse lemur and it is less than 2.5 inches altogether. They look bigger because their tails are five inches long. The longest lemur is called the indri, which can grow up to 2.5 feet tall. The indri has a part in the Malagasy myth and culture. It’s currently listed as “critically endangered.”
12. Alf Lemurs
There was once a kind of lemur that looked like the TV star Alf. It weighed up to 200 pounds and resembled a five-foot-tall human. It had a robust muzzle and a very fleshy nose, which experts believe made the species look like Alf. The scientific name of the species is Megaladapis Edwardsi. This is an artist’s rendition of what it supposedly looked like when it was alive.
11. Females Rule
Lemurs are one of the few species where the female is naturally dominant over the male. Females mark their territory, snatch food from males, bite them, and smack them over the head. Male lemurs usually don’t eat until they are sure the women have had their fill.
Lemurs rate each other based on their skill and knowledge, more like humans than other primates. The more lemurs can demonstrate they know something, such as opening a jar and fetching a grape, the more popular they become with their peers. This leads to more friendly behavior, like grooming and talking.
9. Back Scratches
The lemur in the video is having a fine time until the children stop scratching his back. When they stop, the lemur asks them to continue as before. This demonstrates how smart the lemur is. “That feels good; keep it up!” Some animals, like domesticated cats and this lemur, like the good feeling they get in their back during a good ‘scritch’ or scratch. This is a sensitive part of the area that reacts strongly to touch.
Indri lemurs love to sing and they often form singing groups. They match each other’s pitch and cadence. Their songs are used both as defense mechanisms and to solidify the group dynamics. Younger lemurs prefer to sing out of sync so they can be heard as individuals.
7. Stink Fights
The children in the video love watching the lemur ask for more pets. But they wouldn’t love it if they knew that lemurs, when angry, get into stink fights. Ringtail lemurs sometimes settle disputes by releasing stink glands, which also emit a brownish substance. Here’s a children’s cartoon, The Wild Kratts, demonstrating how it’s done.
6. Evil Spirits?
The word lemur means “evil spirit of the dead” in Latin. That derives from Roman mythology, where the lemurs were exactly that. They have always been associated with spooky things, partly because they seem so human-like. But the lemurs aren’t really evil. They just have some scary eyes.
Some people in Madagascar are terrified of the aye-aye lemur because they look like creatures from the movie Gremlin and have spindly fingers. The aye-aye has an extremely long third finger on each hand, that sits in a ball-and-socket joint that lets the finger swivel 360 degrees! They use it for hunting insects in the trees.
4. Blue Eyes
Lemurs are the only non-human primates which actually have blue eyes. Just like humans, this is one species of lemur which has blue eyes and black pupils. They are called Sclater’s lemurs and they were not identified until 2008. They only live on the Sahamalaza Peninsula, and in a small strip of forest on the adjacent mainland. They are listed as critically endangered due to a disappearing habitat. Scientists are concerned they may be extinct in 11 years so they’re doing everything they can to help.
Lemurs are very smart but researchers didn’t realize it until the last few decades. Lemurs are able to use touch-screen tablets and remember sequences of photographs. They can also learn basic math. They communicate with many different kinds of sounds, but also with facial expressions and scents.
Lemurs are actually pollinators who are important for flowers and fruit. Although bees are most frequently associated with pollination, ruffed lemurs perform many of the same tasks. They live in tropical rainforests and influence the growth of fruit and trees inside the rainforest.
1. Comoros Islands
The lemur in the video is from an order of primates that only inhabit the island of Madagascar and the Comoros Islands. The highly social animal is very comfortable around people. As the video demonstrates, he is very loved. However, National Geographic stresses that animals like lemurs are wild and don’t make good pets. They may end up becoming part of the illegal pet trade. For now, enjoy lemurs in this video, in their natural habitat, and at your local zoo.