Brown Lemur

Eulemur fulvus

Not A Monkey!

Lemurs belong to a group of primates called the Prosimians, a "primitive" group that is different than monkeys. This group includes the lemurs of Madagascar, bush babies of Africa, and the lorises and tarsiers of Southeast Asia. Ancestors of modern lemurs first arrived on Madagascar over 50 million years ago.

About the Species

Brown lemurs are one of the many species of lemur found only on the island of Madagascar.

Brown lemurs are medium-sized, weighing around 5 pounds. They are arboreal, spending most of their time in the upper canopy of the forests of Madagascar. Brown lemurs can inhabit a variety of types of forests throughout Madagascar, including dense tropical forest, moist forests, and dry deciduous forests. Brown lemurs are gray-brown all over, with a slightly lighter underside. One of their most striking features is their bright red-orange eyes. Brown lemurs live in groups of 3–12 individuals, but have no real hierarchical system. Although brown lemurs live across Madagascar, their populations are extremely segmented, and habitat destruction prevents a serious threat to their numbers. As forests are continually destroyed, the population of brown lemurs will continue to fragment and decrease.

Words From the Experts


The two female brown lemurs at the Zoo are some of the oldest brown lemur females in North America! They were born in 1983.


Did You Know?

Almost all species of lemurs are endangered. Habitat loss due to logging is the main cause. You should always do your best to be a responsible consumer and avoid rosewood or ebony.





Deciduous coastal and mountainous forest


2–4 kg | Length: 43–50 cm, Tail: 41–51 cm


Fruit, leaves, flowers, nectar



Natural Defenses

Climbing abilities


Single births are most common


Near Threatened

Life Expectancy

15–20 years

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