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Ring-tailed lemur

Lemur catta

The ringed-tail of this lemur has a lot of uses. It is used for balance as they climb through the trees. When out foraging for food, ring-tailed lemurs hold their tails aloft which helps keep the group together. The tail is also used as a warning and waved at any rival group.

Rival groups of ring-tailed lemurs will also have 'stink fights'. They rub their tails on special scent glands and flick the smells towards their rivals. Like most lemur species the females are dominant and will lead the group, which can often include up to 50 individuals.

They can measure up to 42 centimetres (cm) and their tails can be up to 60cm. Lemurs can weigh up to three kilograms.

You can take part in an interactive animal experience with our ring-tailed lemurs

IUCN red list status

The IUCN status of the Ring-tailed lemur is endangered.

The IUCN status of the Ring-tailed lemur is endangered.

For more information on classifications visit

Animal class


Conservation status

Ring-tailed lemurs are listed as endangered on the IUCN’s Red List of Threatened Species. They are facing a high risk of extinction in the wild in the medium-term future.


Rainforest and forest


There are more than 10,000 lemurs left in the wild but, because their range is decreasing daily, their population is also declining.


Omnivore. Lemurs eat fruit, leaves, flowers, insects, bark and sap.