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Black & White Ruffed Lemur

Varecia variegata

Class: Mammalia Order: Primates Family: Lemuridae

Size

5-9 lbs

Diet

These lemurs are frugivores, meaning they primarily eat fruit. They also feed on leaves, seeds, and nectar.

Lifespan

10-15 years

Habitat & Range

Rainforests of Madagascar

Interesting Facts

  • Black and White Ruffed Lemurs are one of the largest living lemur species. Their name comes from their black and white coloration and the long ruff of fur on the sides of their neck and under their chin.
  • They are very noisy and can be heard from a distance. Lemurs have several calls for social communication and alerting the group to danger.
  • Like other lemurs, this species uses scent to communicate. Females’ scent glands are located on their posterior and males have them on their chest, neck, and jaw. Scent marking communicates identity and territory and is also used in greetings.

Conservation Status

Critically Endangered

Threats

These lemurs are greatly threatened by habitat loss. Their native habitat is often destroyed as a result of slash-and-burn farming, logging, and mining. Black and white ruffed lemurs are also heavily hunted since they are active during the day and very vocal.