What Is a Lemur?

lemur Credit: Raimund Linke/Oxford Scientific/Getty Images

A lemur is a kind of primate that resembles a cross between a monkey and a squirrel. In the wild, lemurs live in trees on the island of Madagascar, which is off the coast of Africa.

Lemurs live in groups that are dominated by females, which get first choice of food, such as leaves, flowers, fruit and insects. The females control the mating process, choosing their partners. Also, female lemurs protect their troops when danger approaches. The lemur's natural predators include hawks and eagles, which attack from the air, snatching baby lemurs. A ground animal, the cat-like fossa, is nocturnal and grabs adult or infant lemurs that sleep too low on trees. Humans are lemurs' primary adversaries, taking them for food as well as destroying their habitats.