Sportive Lemur (Lepilemur mustelinus)

Class: Mammalia
Order: Primates
Family:    Megalapidae
Size:    Length: 9 to12 inches (24 to 30 cm) 
Weight: 1.1 to 1.98 pounds (0.5 to 0.89 kg)
Diet: Mainly leaves, also fruit, flowers and sometimes bark
Distribution: Madagascar
Young:  1 young
Animal Predators:  Unknown
IUCN Status: Lower Risk, Near Threatened 
Terms: Group: Troop
Lifespan: Average 12 to 15 years



·       Recent research has suggested that sportive lemurs are closely related to the extinct giant lemur.

·       The name lemur comes from the Latin word lemures, which means “ghosts.”



Sportive lemurs have brown or grey fur on their back, and a lighter underbelly. Their eyes are extremely large, and they have big, rounded ears. Their tail is almost the same length as their body, and their hind legs are much larger than their arms.  



Sportive lemurs can be found in the forests of Madagascar.


Feeding Habits

Sportive lemurs eat mostly leaves, supplemented by flowers and fruit, but also sometimes bark. Because the plants they eat are poor in nutritional value, they re-ingest their feces to get the full amount of protein from the recycled food. 



Mating occurs from May to July and gestation lasts between four and five months. The young are born sometime between September and November. When it is old enough to grasp its mother’s fur, the newborn is carried on its mother’s belly. When it gets a little older, the young lemur begins riding on her back.  



Sportive lemurs are nocturnal animals, coming out at night to feed and sleeping during the day in a tree hole during the rainy season, or in a nest of leaves during the dry season. They rarely descend to ground, but rather leap from tree to tree. When they do occasionally descend to the ground, they usually hop on their back feet. They tend to be solitary, but the males often live in territories that overlap the territories of up to three females. 



Forest destruction and hunting are the major conservation concerns for sportive lemurs. 



All the World’s Animals: Primates. Torstar Books, 1985

Life Nature Library: The Primates, Time-Life Books, 1980 

A Complete Guide to Monkeys, Apes and other Primates, Michael Kavanagh, Oregon Press Limited, 1983$narrative.html#geographic_range