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Black and White Ruffed Lemur

Varecia variegata


  • The island of Madagascar


  • Rainforests


  • Fruit
  • Nectar
  • Leaves
  • Flowers
  • Buds
  • Fungi
  • Soil


  • 8-10 lbs


  • 4′ head to tail

Life Span

  • 15-20 years

Raised in the Nest

Black and white ruffed lemurs live in female led groups that fluctuate in size from 2-20 individuals. The infants are born in litters of up to six, though two or three is more typical. Varecia are the only diurnal primates in the world to keep their infants in well-constructed nests which are concealed anywhere from 65 to 100 feet up in the treetops.

Did You Know?

  • Their tails are longer than their bodies to increase balance in the forest canopy.
  • These frugivores enjoy nectar and are possibly nature’s largest pollinator.
  • They have the second loudest vocalization of all primates.
  • The word lemur means “ghost”.

Conservation Status

Humans present the greatest threat due to the destruction of the rainforest habitat.

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