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The Ringtailed Lemur is a primate and the most recognized lemur due to its long, black and white ringed tail. It belongs to one of the four families of lemurs and like all lemurs is endemic to the island of Madagascar. It inhabits forests and spiny scrub in southern regions of the island. They are omnivorous, the most terrestrial of all lemurs, and are only active during the daylight hours.
The Ringtailed Lemurs are highly social, living in groups of 30 or more. They are also female dominant, a trait common among lemurs. To keep warm and to maintain their social bond, groups will huddle together forming a "lemur ball". They will also sunbathe, sitting upright facing its underside, with its thinner white fur facing the sunlight. Like other lemurs, they rely strongly on their sense of smell and mark their territory with scent glands. As one of the most vocal primates, the Ringtailed Lemur utilizes numerous vocalizations including group alarm calls.
Despite being listed as Near Threatened, the Ringtailed Lemur reproduces readily in captivity, and is the most popular lemur in zoos worldwide. It typically lives 16-19 years in the wild and 27 years in captivity.