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Lemurs: Lemuridae

Crowned Lemur (lemur Coronatus): Species Accounts

Physical characteristics: The crowned lemur has a contrasting color, or "crown," on the top of its head. Males have brownish fur with orange fur encircling a whitish face. Their crown is a black fur patch between the ears. Females have short, gray-brown body hair with a red-orange patch on their crown. Both males and females have round orange eyes.

Adult crowned lemurs weigh 4.5 pounds (2 kilograms). Head plus body length is 13.4 inches (34 centimeters) long, with a 17.7-inch (45-centimeter) tail. They have scent glands on various parts of their body.

Geographic range: Crowned lemurs are found in Madagascar.

Crowned lemur males (on the left) and females (on the right) live together in social sleeping groups. (Photograph by Harald Schütz. Reproduced by permission.)

Habitat: Crowned lemurs live in dry to moist forests.

Diet: Crowned lemurs prefer fruit, but also eat flowers, flower pollen, and leaves.

Behavior and reproduction: Crowned lemurs live in groups of about six members. Within a group, communication is by various vocalizations, or sounds, as well as bonding through mutual grooming, or fur cleaning. Crowned lemurs are mainly diurnal, feeding in the daytime, with an afternoon rest. However they may feed for a few hours at night. They search for food at all tree levels, as well as on the ground.

Crowned lemur males and females live together in social sleeping groups. Females are in charge, with the strongest one leading the entire group. Mating takes place at twenty months old. One to two offspring are born each time.

Crowned lemurs and people: Poachers, or illegal hunters, kill crowned lemurs for food, and local people may kill them if lemurs take food from their farms.

Conservation status: Crowned lemurs are considered Vulnerable due to poaching, brush fires, farming, and logging. ∎



Darling, Kathy. Lemurs on Location. New York: HarperCollins, 1998.

Dunbar, Robin, and Louise Barrett. Cousins: Our Primate Relatives. London: Dorling Kindersley: 2000.

Lasky, Kathryn. Shadows in the Dawn: The Lemurs of Madagascar. New York: Gulliver Books, 1998.

Powzyk, Joyce A. In Search of Lemurs. Washington, D.C.: National Geographic, 1998.

Sleeper, Barbara. Primates. San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 1997.


Banks, Joan. "Living On the Edge Lemurs: On the Verge of Extinction, Do Lemurs Have a Fighting Chance?" National Geographic World (January– February 2002): 12–17.

Hubbard, Kim. "For the Love of Lemurs." Audubon (September 2000): 60–67.

Mitchell, Meghan. "Securing Madagascar's Rare Wildlife." Science News (November 1, 1997): 287.

Schleichert, Elizabeth. "Can We Save the Lemurs?" Ranger Rick (December 2000): 18–24.

"Wildlife of Tropical Rain Forests." National Geographic World (January 2000): 22–25.

Web sites:

Animal Facts. "Ring-tailed Lemur." http://www.chaffeezoo.org/animals/ringTailedLemur.html (accessed on July 5, 2004).

The Lemur Database. "Crowned Lemur." http://www.stormloader.com/lemur/crowned.html (accessed on July 5, 2004).

The Lemur Database. "Ring-Tailed Lemur." http://www.stormloader.com/lemur/ringtailed.html (accessed on July 5, 2004).

Lemurs. "Lemur catta." http://bibliofile.mc.duke.edu/gww/Berenty/Mammals/Lemur-catta/index.html (accessed on July 6, 2004).

Additional topics

Animal Life ResourceMammalsLemurs: Lemuridae - Physical Characteristics, Behavior And Reproduction, Conservation Status, Ringtailed Lemur (lemur Catta): Species Accounts - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, DIET, LEMURS AND PEOPLE