What Does a Lemur Eat?

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Lemurs are found only in Madagascar and the Comoro Islands above Madagascar.
Lemurs are found only in Madagascar and the Comoro Islands above Madagascar. (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Lemers are a group of prosomians, or primitive primates, native to Madagascar and the Comoro Islands. The 50 species of lemurs are generally characterized by their long limbs, flexible toes and fingers, and long, thin noses. Most species of lemurs have a vegetarian diet, meaning they only eat plant matter. Some lemurs do eat insects and small animals.

Fruit

Most species of lemurs feed on fruit from large trees, especially figs. Many species, such as the red ruffed lemur, get most of their nutrients from fruit.

Plant Matter

Lemurs feed on several parts of a plant other than its fruit. Most speices are known to eat plants as well as a tree's buds, flowers, leaves, sap and even bark.

Insects

Some species of lemurs feed on small insects found in the Madagascar rainforest such as flies, spiders and beetles. The aye-aye, a species of lemur, commonly feeds on insect larvae. It has one long middle finger on each hand to tap on tree limbs, listening for an echo that tells the lemur there is larvae within the branch. It then rips away at the bark with its sharp teeth and eats the insect larvae inside.

Small Animals

Some species, such as the mouse lemur, are omnivores, meaning they eat both plant and animal matter. The mouse lemur is known to feed on bird and repitle eggs. It also hunts lizards and frogs.

Milk

Because it is a mammal, the lemur female nurses its young. The baby lemurs feed on their mother's milk for about 12 weeks before moving on to find solid foods.

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