Posts Tagged ‘ring-tailed’

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.

Lemur Training Update

March 7th, 2013

 

The red ruffed lemurs have been off exhibit since December. We have just a couple of weeks left until it is warm enough for the ring tailed lemurs to be outside during the day and the red ruffed lemurs to move upstairs, on exhibit. Here is where we were last time I updated about training- click here.

While our focus was going to be crate training we also added the behavior of station. Station is a way to 1) separate the lemurs if necessary 2) keep a lemur in one spot while working with the others.  The red ruffed have access to three stalls. In each stall we have a shelf attached to the door. These shelves are where we would like the lemurs to ‘station’. But how do they know which one of them should station on which shelf? Great questions- we hang up symbols on the doors, above the shelves. Each lemur has their own specific symbol. Stationing is going great!

Crate training is also going well. The door has been shut on Cynthia and we’re very close to shutting the door on Jethys and Iris.

The ring tailed lemurs are still doing great with their crate training. Dr English will visit in the next few months and our oldest lemurs Lycus (almost 28) and Cynthia (almost 32) will have to be crated and brought to the building to get their eyes checked out.

 

Jethys symbol for station is a star

Iris’ symbol for station is a moon

Cynthia symbol for station is a diamond

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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.

Popsicles

December 19th, 2011

 

We are always on the look out for new and exciting enrichment.  Keeper Marilyn and I are both lemur trainers and work together in Explore the Wild on Wednesdays, so we came up with the idea to make some sort of popsicle for the lemurs. We wanted them to be able to hold the popsicle for the themselves while they ate it. So we froze juice and added green beans, celery, and carrots as the sticks. It didn’t work out quite as we planned but the lemurs still enjoyed them. Lead Keeper Aaron is going to order us actual popsicle sticks – maybe they will be more supportive for next time.

 

Here is Cynthia trying her popsicle

 

Cassandra trying a popsicle

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  1. Don’t order. I have some at home

    Posted by jill
  2. Keeper Comment :

    he already got them

    Posted by Kimberly Lawson

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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.

History of the Lemur

November 9th, 2011

Often times while I’m training the Ring Tailed Lemurs I over hear visitor’s comments.  “Oh look- she’s feeding the…. Raccoons? Monkeys? What is that animal?” At the end of each session I ask, any guests that managed to stay interested long enough, if they have any questions. Typically by this point they have read all the exhibit signs and know that the cute little animals with looooong tails are Lemurs. But what is a Lemur?

Training the Ring Tailed Lemurs

 

The word Lemur-which means ghost- because of their nocturnal behavior, reflecting eyes, and vocalizations, describes a small monkey-like mammal.  In fact these creatures can be quite elusive and there are probably several species yet to be discovered.

 

Mouse Lemur- notice the reflective eyes

 

Lemurs are in the order Primates- just like you and me and monkeys and apes. But not as advanced- you could call them pre-monkeys. They are in the suborder Strepsirhini and you may hear them called Prosimians.  The suborder Strepsirhini includes: lemurs, bush babies, lorises, and the aye aye. The other suborder under Primates is Haplorhini which include: monkeys, baboons, gibbons, orangutans, chimps, gorillas, and humans. You may hear us called Anthropoids as well. Strepsirhines are distinguished from Haplorhines by a number of physiological and morphological features of the inner ear, blood circulation and digestion.

Aye-Aye

 

So here’s the deal. Stepsirhinies appeared first, these early primates were nocturnal and aboreal and many current day lemurs still are (with exceptions of course) By the time Haplorhines arrived, lemurs had already drifted over to Madagascar and any remaining lemurs were quickly wiped out, too much competition with the higher more developed and advanced monkeys. Lemurs were isolated on the island and with little competition and predation they were able to inhabit all the different environments the island had to offer, there are lemurs in the moist tropical rainforest as well as the dry deserts areas of the island. This gave them the ability to develop into the many different and unique lemurs species there are today. Lemurs only live on Madagascar and the Comoro Islands- that means they are endemic. (Native to a specific region or environment and not occurring naturally anywhere else)

The Island of Madagascar

 

Enter humans…dun dun dun…2,000 years ago when humans first arrived on the island  they literally sent 15 species of lemur into extinction and pretty quickly. All of those 15 species were larger than the current day lemurs. There was even a gorilla sized lemur around 400 pounds- that’s a Lightning (our donkey) sized lemur! The biggest threat to lemur population today is still human encroachment. All lemurs are considered endangered or threatened to become endangered, in fact many are critically endangered, including our own Red Ruffed Lemurs.

 

What makes a lemur different than a monkey?

Check back soon for my next post, I’ll describe the differences between lemurs and other primates.

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by , Keeper
I have been working at the museum since 2003, and I feel fortunate to have a job where I can start my day with amazing animals surrounding me. I enjoy camping, hiking and rock climbing in my spare time when the weather is nice.
I work Tuesday through Saturday and spend a lot of time behind the scenes, but you might find me at a public program or feeding the farmyard animals in the afternoon.

Creature Feature: Lycus the ring-tailed lemur

September 10th, 2008

Lycus is one of the oldest lemurs we have, and is a favorite among some of the keepers. He was born at the Duke Lemur Center in March of 1985, and came to live at the museum in October of 2005. He lives with two other ring-tailed lemurs, Cassandra and her son Satyrus. It is hard to tell the three apart, so they all have different colored bands on their tracking collars. But Lycus is the easiest to tell apart because he has a distinctive bump on his chin and a white patch of fur on his left shoulder.

Although Lycus is a pretty old lemur, he is still very active and gets around just as well as the others. The only age-related difference that he has is that his teeth are more worn down. Because of this, we crush the lemur’s morning chow into smaller pieces and make it softer by adding apple juice and mashed banana to it. This method helps the older lemurs a lot when eating the chow, which is important because they need the nutrients it contains. In the evening, the lemurs are fed their fruits and vegetables. These consist of banana, apple, sweet potato, carrot, broccoli, greens, papaya, mango, grapes, berries, melon, green beans, corn, pear, peach and plum. What a variety! We give different foods on different days so that their meals can be enriching. They also get other foods such as raisins and pineapple with their enrichment items. Of course, like all the lemurs, Lycus loves the bananas and other fruits more than the vegetables, but they do also enjoy cooked sweet potato.
During the warmer parts of the year, you can find the ring-tailed lemurs in the outdoor exhibit. They are brought indoors at night because it is safer, but they still have access to outside holding yards if they want to go out during the night. When the colder months come, though, they cannot stay outside. Their bodies cannot withstand the cold temperatures and they could get frostbite in their toes or tails. So they stay in the warm lemur house or go on exhibit in the indoor viewing area when the temperatures drop. For the keepers working outside in the winter, it’s always a relief to arrive at the warm lemur building to clean!

You can learn a lot more about lemurs by visiting this website, or you can take a tour at the Duke Lemur Center and see a wide array of lemur species there!

It is difficult to see the bump on Lycus’ chin in these pictures, but notice the patch of white fur on his left shoulder in the second picture. He is picking up some morning chow to eat.

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  1. Lycus is the best!!! (2nd to Nanette)

    Posted by Katy

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