Did You Know?
All adults in the group help raise baby Cotton-tops, even brothers and sisters.
Red ruffed lemurs are the largest members of the Lemuridae; with both males and females being very similar in size. Slender bodied and long legged, red ruffed lemurs have a narrow, fox-like snout and small ears that are hidden by a ruff of hair. The soft, woolly body fur is a deep rusty red while their extremities, forehead, crown, belly and tail are black. They have a patch of white fur on the nape of the neck and may have additional white patches on the feet, digits or mouth.
Red ruffed lemurs (and all prosimians) lack extensive digit coordination, so they groom themselves and each other with their teeth. A specialized claw on the second toes of their hind feet is used to brush their long, fluffy coat. Red ruffed lemurs have scent glands on their rump used for group identification. They also have acute senses of smell, vision and hearing.
Red ruffed lemurs warn each other with a complex system of at least 12 different vocalizations. These alarm calls can be low grunts, gurgling sounds or a cackle-like roar. Red ruffed lemurs can even recognize the alarm calls of their co-subspecies, the black and white ruffed lemurs. Both subspecies will cooperate in warning the others group.
Two red ruffed lemurs arrived in 2009 to PPZ. Sambi, our male, came from sunny Palm Beach Zoo, and our female Joplin is here in Lansing courtesy of the world famous San Diego Zoo. Both lemurs were captive born.
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