- Common Name:
- Ring-Tailed Lemur
- Scientific Name:
- Lemur catta
- Group Name:
- Average Life Span In The Wild:
- Up to 18 years
- Head and body: 17.75 inches; tail: 21.75 inches
- 5 to 7.5 pounds
In a troop, or group, of ring-tailed lemurs, which typically numbers between 15 and 20 individuals, females rule. If a squabble breaks out between a male and a female, the female lemur always wins the argument.
Lemur troops establish territories, which they defend against other troops. The male lemurs tend to hang back during battles. Male ring-tailed lemurs come and go from one troop to another, while females stay with the one in which they were born. As the troop moves from feeding site to feeding site, the core group of females settles into the best feeding spot (generally a good tree) and eats first. The males wait for them to finish or feed in a less desired tree nearby. The same goes for often hard-to-find water which collects in tree hollows.
Some female lemurs are dominant over the other females and higher-ranking males strut around with their heads and tails held high, while the lower-ranked lemurs keep their tails and heads down.