Would You Get an Arboreal Lemur as a Pet?
The arboreal lemur is probably not the best animal to consider as a house pet, but they are in the monkey family. Lemurs are very interesting creatures, and are usually characterized by their mix of features between the monkey and the raccoon. This lemur can be found in Madagascar, which is in Africa, so one would need to travel far to see it.
Where Do Lemurs Live?
You can only find arboreal lemurs on the island of Madagascar, and on the neighboring Comoros Islands. Lemurs prefer to live in a rainforest type setting, but can also be found in a dry section of the southwest too. Lemurs are primates, and are considered a small to medium sized primate. They can weigh up to 15 pounds, and stand as high as 4 feet tall. They have odd looking faces that somewhat resemble the raccoon, and they are easy to spot. Some of them have rather large eyes, and they have a white sort of mask-like border around the eyes, nose and the mouth.
These lemurs also have what is called binocular vision, and have hands that are able to grasp well for climbing. Unlike other primates, the arboreal lemur has what is called a rhinarium. In other words they have a moist, wet nose that is very sensitive in picking things up.
How Did the Lemur Develop?
No one is certain how lemurs actually came into development. The reason there was much speculation, is because the island of Madagascar separated from Africa at some point, and so we know that they had to come into being before this happened, because you only find lemurs in Madagascar. However, there are some scientists that claim to prove that lemurs existed on the island of Madagascar before it separated from Africa. So, it may be that no one really knows for sure either way. Whatever the case may be, it appears that they didn’t reproduce anywhere else other than Madagascar.
Once the lemur was on Madagascar, it then developed into many different species. It is unclear how these different species were developed, but we do know that there many different types of species of the lemur that exist. By the time Madagascar had been inhabited by the first settlers, 15 of the original species had become extinct.
Out of all of the species of lemurs that now exist, the Megaladapidae is the group that you will find the arboreal lemur in. These lemurs have a diet that primarily exists from leaves. It is hard to imagine that any animal could survive on this type of diet, but lemurs are not very big animals. They are very agile, and move easily so they wouldn’t carry a lot of weight.
Although there are several types of lemurs that exist, a majority of them are now arboreal. Lemurs have it made with a life that they spend among trees and bushes being able to spot almost anything from above. The arboreal lemur, the larger of all the lemur species, do remain active during the day as well as night. They are what we would refer to as diurnal. If it were possible to have a lemur as a pet, the arboreal would be the best choice out of all of them because they tend to exist in groups or “mobs”. This allows them to be viewed as the most social of all the groups. Additionally, they can communicate vocally as well as through using scent markings to direct other lemurs.
Sadly, lemurs are now endangered which is mainly due to the lack of forestation. They have also been sought out my poachers for the pet and food trade.