If you’ve been keeping up with my blog/life, you might remember me mentioning that I’ve been volunteering at a local fossil center. I mainly volunteer once a week for around three hours, so it doesn’t take up much of my time. Since the fossil division has more projects than employees, I help them out with smaller, more meticulous tasks. Like cutting out foam, housing fossils, and taking pictures for 3D modeling. It might not sound like the funnest way to spend my free time, but I personally find it interesting! Plus, it helps out the lemur center and any researchers who want to use the fossils.
Last weekend, the lemur center even offered tours for volunteers. Naturally, I said yes and immediately signed up for a time slot. Who wouldn’t want to spend their afternoon hanging out and taking pictures of lemurs?!
Before we get into some pictures of lemurs, let’s get a little background information on these mammals.
- Lemurs are endemic to Madagascar (which means this is the only country they naturally inhabit)
- Because they are native only to Madagascar, many lemur species are endangered primarily due to habitat loss
- There are over 100 species of lemurs
- Many smaller lemur species are nocturnal, while larger species are diurnal
As for my ‘lemur adventure,’ the tour I went on was in an enclosure with three species-the sifaka, ring-tailed, and red ruffed lemurs. They generally hang out with their own species. While these lemurs are not intimidated by humans, they keep their space. Visitors are not supposed to touch the creatures and are told to back up if a lemur does happen to approach. On to the fun part…here are some pictures of the different species!
Sifaka’s are probably the species you immediately picture when someone says ‘lemur,’ thanks to shows like Zoboomafoo. These lemurs love to hang out in trees.
Ring-tailed lemurs are easy to distinguish by their tails (see the introductory picture in this post for a great view of their tail). They can be hard to find in the wild, however, as they prefer to live in heavily forested areas. It was actually a little difficult to spot them in the lemur center’s enclosure too as they were originally hanging out more in the middle of the forest opposed to near the fence.
Red ruffed lemurs are known for their red coat. They don’t really like interacting with other lemur species (this one in particular told off one of the ring-tailed lemurs while I was on the tour; then returned to peacefully hanging out in the grass).
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I hope you enjoyed this post! I was beyond excited to bring my camera and hang out with these cute little creatures, so I wanted to share my experience and a little bit of knowledge with you all! I took over 300 pictures while I was there, but I didn’t want to crash your internet with a ton of images. Anyways, if you ever get the chance to volunteer anywhere, I hope you give it a try! Lots of places can use extra hands, and it’s a great way to learn more about a certain topic and help out your community.