Lemurs Posts

by , Keeper
I have been a keeper at the museum since May 2012, but I was an intern back in the spring of 2011. I am very passionate about animals and my favorites are native species with the exception of sloths. In my spare time, I am working on a Bachelor's degree with OSU online in environmental science. I have two dogs, a snake, and a cat.
I work Tuesday through Saturday and you will usually see me somewhere in Explore the Wild. I love giving keeper talks, so hope to see you at 2 pm for our meet the keeper programs in Explore the Wild.

Birthday Celebration

March 30th, 2014

Cynthia, who is our oldest Red Ruffed Lemur, turned 33 years old on March 30th.  This makes Cynthia the oldest Red Ruffed Lemur in the country.  33 years is old for any lemur considering the average lifespan in captivity is early twenties.  In the wild, lemurs tend to live longer to around mid-twenties.  Since lemurs are endemic to Madagascar, it can be difficult to replicate their dietary and habitat needs in a captive environment.  The keepers felt that 33 years of life for a lemur would be a great reason to celebrate.  On Thursday the 27th, we provided the Red Ruffed Lemurs with a variety of different enrichment items.  They received puzzle feeders, skewers, streamers, and colorful bags with dried fruit.  At the 2pm lemur program, guest sang “Happy Birthday” from Lemur viewing  and keepers talked about Cynthia as well as general information on lemurs.

If you were unable to make it to the Birthday celebration, here are some pictures of the big day….

Decorations in inside viewing at Lemurs.

Decorations in inside viewing which are the enrichment items for not just Cynthia but Jethys and Iris too.

Cynthia checking out what is in the colorful bag.

Cynthia checking out what is in the colorful bag.

 

Cynthia smelling the streamers.

Cynthia smelling the streamers.

 

Cynthia, Jethys and Iris all checking out the enrichment items.

Cynthia, Jethys and Iris all checking out the enrichment items.

 

 

Birthday Cakes

Birthday Cakes

 

Getting more enrichment items for the 2pm program.  This is fruit skewered on paper towel tubes.

Getting more enrichment items for the 2pm program. This is fruit skewered on paper towel tubes.

 

Autumn and I getting a larger paper towel tube ready with mango, kiwi and dried cherries.

Autumn and I getting a larger paper towel tube ready with mango, kiwi and dried cherries.

 

Cynthia going to a puzzle feeder that had a variety of fruit and veggies inside it.

Cynthia going to a puzzle feeder that had a variety of fruit and veggies inside it.

 

Jethys eating one of the birthday cakes.

Jethys eating one of the birthday cakes.

 

Cynthia and the skewered fruit paper towel tube.  Iris is looking in one of the puzzle feeders.

Cynthia and the skewered fruit paper towel tube. Iris is looking in one of the puzzle feeders.

 

The keepers and guest had a great time watching the Red Ruffed Lemurs explore and manipulate their enrichment items.  After it was all over, they all found their spots on the perching and rested.

Time to rest.

Time to rest.

 

 

 

 

 

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by , Keeper
I have been a keeper at the museum since May 2012, but I was an intern back in the spring of 2011. I am very passionate about animals and my favorites are native species with the exception of sloths. In my spare time, I am working on a Bachelor's degree with OSU online in environmental science. I have two dogs, a snake, and a cat.
I work Tuesday through Saturday and you will usually see me somewhere in Explore the Wild. I love giving keeper talks, so hope to see you at 2 pm for our meet the keeper programs in Explore the Wild.

Upcoming Birthday Celebration!

March 23rd, 2014

Cynthia, our oldest Red Ruffed Lemur, will be turning 33 years old on March 30th.  On March 27th, the Explore the Wild team (Autumn and myself) will be providing Cynthia and the other Red Ruffed Lemurs with different types of enrichment and food items so that we can celebrate this milestone.  This will provide the Red Ruffed Lemurs with great opportunities to interact with different food items and enrichment plus give the keepers a chance to take a lot of pictures!  So, this will be very enriching to the keepers.

 

My next post will show what we did for Cynthia on her big day plus how she and the other Red Ruffed Lemurs interacted with all the items.

 

Join the conversation:

  1. Director Comment :

    We’ve already had a couple bags of fruit and other goodies dropped off. Thanks Neighbor:

    http://blogs.lifeandscience.org/keepers/2013/03/24/spotlight-my-anonymous-neighbor/

    Posted by Sherry Samuels
  2. Congratulations to Cynthia for being one of the oldest Red-ruffed lemurs in captivity in the world – You go girl!!! Get your party on!!!

    Posted by Katy
  3. Precisely what a beneficial post you will have. Thanks for this promote.Such a informative post you might have.

    Posted by Antonio Bigbee

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by , Keeper
I have been a keeper at the museum since May 2012, but I was an intern back in the spring of 2011. I am very passionate about animals and my favorites are native species with the exception of sloths. In my spare time, I am working on a Bachelor's degree with OSU online in environmental science. I have two dogs, a snake, and a cat.
I work Tuesday through Saturday and you will usually see me somewhere in Explore the Wild. I love giving keeper talks, so hope to see you at 2 pm for our meet the keeper programs in Explore the Wild.

Apple Rings

March 21st, 2014

Cassandra and Satyrus getting apple rings for food enrichment.  I think it was a hit!

 

 

 

 

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by , Director
I've been at the Museum sooooo long - longer than many of our interns have been alive. I do a little bit of everything as part of my job: care for the animals, work with the keepers and other staff, spend time with guests. Lucky me!
I spend a lot of time behind-the-scenes, or here after hours, but if you really want to see me, you'll have to sign-up for a behind-the-scenes program.

Disturbing news for lemur conservation

March 3rd, 2014

The American Association for the Advancement of Science reported troubling news for lemurs in the February 21 issue of their Science Magazine. The report states that lemurs the most imperiled
group of large vertebrates.

Read the full article: Schwitzer et al 2014_Science-Averting Lemur Extinctions.

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by , Keeper
I have been a keeper at the museum since May 2012, but I was an intern back in the spring of 2011. I am very passionate about animals and my favorites are native species with the exception of sloths. In my spare time, I am working on a Bachelor's degree with OSU online in environmental science. I have two dogs, a snake, and a cat.
I work Tuesday through Saturday and you will usually see me somewhere in Explore the Wild. I love giving keeper talks, so hope to see you at 2 pm for our meet the keeper programs in Explore the Wild.

Where are the Ring-Tailed Lemurs?

January 30th, 2014

It has been cold lately and that means that the Ring-tailed lemurs have been inside in their indoor holding area.  Since they are inside, we want to make sure that they are getting enriched.  A recent enrichment item that we have used for the lemurs is skewering dried fruit on pumpkins or like in the following pictures on paper towel tubes.

Cassandra and Satyrus. What is this?

 

Satyrus was interested in the new item once Cassandra had inspected it first.

 

Cassandra getting an apricot.

 

Satyrus scent marking the item after eating his fill of apricots.

 

 

Join the conversation:

  1. Glad Cassandra and Satyrus were comfy and warm. Wondering what the red square with the red x is for? Thank you.

    Posted by dj
  2. Keeper Comment :

    I can answer that, DJ.

    The red box with the X was part of a behavior the Ringtails were learning. The goal was to have them put both their hands in the box and have their back facing the keeper. It’s a harder task to train than you might think, the Ringtails always seem to keep an eye on the keeper that’s working with them and as a team, there was a lot of walking in circles. The hope was that we could then train them to stay there with their hands on the wall so we could look at their back, fur, or apply medication to their skin if we needed to.

    Posted by Sarah Van de Berg

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by , Keeper
I've been at the museum since 2010. I love to read and learn; it's rare that a day goes by at work when I'm not suppressing the urge to spew out something cool I just learned to my coworkers. In my spare time, I play the 'cello, snuggle my dog and reminisce about snowmen and Nor'easters.
I work Sunday through Thursday. You can find me raking the Farmyard in the morning or training the donkey and dwarf goats in the afternoon.

Big Word of the Month: Prehensile

January 21st, 2014

If you’ve been to a Meet the Keeper program at Lemurs, you may have heard someone ask if the Red Ruffed Lemurs have “thumbs” or “fingers” on the ends of their tails. The answer is “no”; the little bit of naked tail that sticks out in varying lengths from the normally furry tails of our lemurs is a by-product of over grooming. The Red Ruffed lemurs will occasionally groom their tail tips by licking, chewing or rubbing at them with their fingers and subsequently, have removed tufts of fur from the ends. The naked bit of tail can bend and curl just like the rest of their tails, but it isn’t prehensile.

So what exactly is “prehensile”?

It’s defined as an appendage or organ found on a vertebrate animal that has the ability to grasp or hold.

Though the definition seems simple enough,  it’s not always so black and white. Think about the tail of a Virginia Opossum or the lips on a rhino or donkey. They have the ability to grasp or manipulate objects, but can’t really hang on tightly. In those cases, the appendage is considered “semi-prehensile.”

 

Here are some examples of prehensile appendages in the animal world: new world monkey tail (like Spider Monkeys), octopus arms, chameleon feet, prehensile-tailed porcupine tails, Giraffe tongues, primates with a thumb have prehensile hands and sygnathidae tails.

Photo Credit: ARKive.org
Photo Credit (Prehensile tailed porcupine): The Creature Teachers, Littleton, Mass.
Lycus the Lemur is our photo.

Here are a few more “semi-prehensile” appendages: elephant trunk tip, camel lips and snake tails.

Photo Credit (elephant): ARKive.org
Photo Credit (camel): ImageShack user “poojambasaurus”
The grumpy baby Northern pinesnake is our photo

 

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  1. On the other hand, nobody is sure if these v3 diet pills that are being advertised through v3 diet pills online work well for the obese patients. Fen-phen was a combination of the v3 diet drugs fenfluramine and phentermine.

    Posted by Judson

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by , Keeper
I have been a keeper at the museum since May 2012, but I was an intern back in the spring of 2011. I am very passionate about animals and my favorites are native species with the exception of sloths. In my spare time, I am working on a Bachelor's degree with OSU online in environmental science. I have two dogs, a snake, and a cat.
I work Tuesday through Saturday and you will usually see me somewhere in Explore the Wild. I love giving keeper talks, so hope to see you at 2 pm for our meet the keeper programs in Explore the Wild.

Caterpillars part 2

December 7th, 2013

In my Caterpillars post, I talked about getting stung by one.  In this post, I will show you a couple of other caterpillars that I found in Explore the Wild.

Once I found one caterpillar, which was a saddleback, my eyes began to see all the other caterpillars that are out in the area.

This caterpillar (above) was on the climbing structure in the lemur yard.  I found it while I was putting the morning food out for the Ring-tailed lemurs.

This caterpillar (below) was on the water bowl in the wolf side cages.

Next time that you are outside, take a closer look at the plants or even different structures and you might see a caterpillar.

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by , Keeper
I'm extremely excited to be working at the Museum since October 2010. My favorite part of this job- besides working with the animals- is listening to all of the Keeper stories, I hear a new one each day. In my spare time I enjoy hiking, belly dancing, and vegan cooking.
I work Sunday through Thursday. I can be found mostly behind the scenes or training the Ring Tail Lemurs.

Ring Tailed Lemur Photos

September 28th, 2013

Satyrus and Cassandra

Cassandra landing a jump

Cassandra

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by , Keeper
I'm extremely excited to be working at the Museum since October 2010. My favorite part of this job- besides working with the animals- is listening to all of the Keeper stories, I hear a new one each day. In my spare time I enjoy hiking, belly dancing, and vegan cooking.
I work Sunday through Thursday. I can be found mostly behind the scenes or training the Ring Tail Lemurs.

Table time

September 22nd, 2013

The lemurs get front-lined every month, just like your dog at home. For the Ring Tailed Lemurs, I have goals of making this a trained behavior so that application goes smoothly. Right now it’s more like a “sneak attack” approach. So I began by teaching them the behavior- Wall. What I expected from them was to hop onto a stool and place both hands on the wall. To train this behavior,  I started with stool- they already have a Jump behavior, so that was no problem. Next, I pointed to the wall, they are used to Left Hand, Right Hand so often when they see my finger pointing they try to grab it. I would pull my hand back a bit,  leaving them touching the wall. I taped a square onto the wall and that is ultimately where I want their hands to be placed.

The stool is kinda low and the lemurs do not enjoy people leaning over them. So I brought a table into their stall. When they are on the table we are closer in height and I don’t need to lean over them. Now we are working on liking the table. (pictures below)

Hopefully this will eventually turn into a great husbandry behavior and make applying front-line easier for both lemurs and keepers.

Satyrus had to reposition for better treat access

My favorite picture. Cassandra is obviously not bothered by her son’s tail

 

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by , Keeper
I'm extremely excited to be working at the Museum since October 2010. My favorite part of this job- besides working with the animals- is listening to all of the Keeper stories, I hear a new one each day. In my spare time I enjoy hiking, belly dancing, and vegan cooking.
I work Sunday through Thursday. I can be found mostly behind the scenes or training the Ring Tail Lemurs.

The Fossa

September 20th, 2013

A fossa eating a meal

 

This is a fossa, it is the main predator of lemurs. As you can see it kinda looks like a cat, but actually,  it is related to the mongoose. They live in Madagascar and can grow up to 6 feet long but only weigh about 25 lbs. The fossa isn’t just a predator to lemurs, it’s the islands largest predator and a strict carnivore, so it feeds on just about anything it can. (although lemurs are their favorite meal)  Similar to a cat they do  have retractable claws,  large teeth and hunt ambush style. They are solitary animals that spend their time on the ground and in the trees, hunting both day and night. A very agile animal that can maneuver high up in the trees with ease and can travel up to 16 miles per day. They are considered adults at 4 years of age, females give birth to 2-4 pups a year, in a den she has made. After 4 months the pups leave the den, then stay with their mother for another 8 months. After about 2 years fossa pups move off on their own.

And sadly they are endangered, primarily due to habitat loss.

 

fossa pup

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  1. “they’re always annoying us by trespassing, interrupting our parties, and ripping our limbs off”.

    -King Julien

    Awesome animal, misleading spelling of the name also as it is pronounced foo-sah

    Posted by mattS

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