Crowned lemurs are the most noticeably sexually dichromatic lemur species, with the exception of the blue-eyed black lemur. The females are predominantly gray with an orange crown, while the males are a much darker reddish brown with a black and orange crown. Until recently, crowned lemurs were thought to be a sub-species of the mongoose lemur.
Want to learn more about crowned lemurs AND help support their care and conservation not only here but also in Madagascar? Consider symbolically adopting Sanura, a female crowned lemur, through the DLC’s Adopt a Lemur Program! Your adoption goes toward the $8,400 per year cost it takes to care for each lemur at the DLC, as well as aiding our conservation efforts in Madagascar. You’ll also receive quarterly updates and photos, making this a fun, educational gift that keeps giving all year long!
Crowned lemurs are the most noticeably sexually dichromatic (different coloration in males and females) species of lemur, with the exception of the blue-eyed black lemur. Female crowned lemurs are predominantly gray with an orange "crown"on their foreheads, whereas males are a much darker reddish brown with a black and orange crown.
Pictured: A male crowned lemur (right) grooms the dominant female (left).
Although the diet of crowned lemurs varies with the seasons, it contains a high percentage of fruit with relatively few leaves. During both wet and dry seasons, fruit comprises as much as 80% to 90% of the crowned lemur diet. They prefer drier forests, existing in higher densities in these habitats than in adjacent humid forests. In fact, the crowned lemurs may be found in the more humid areas only because they have been forced out of their preferred dry habitat by human interference. Crowned lemurs generally feed lower in the forest than Sanford’s lemurs, which may help avoid aggressive interactions between these two species. Crowned lemurs often forage in scrubby bushes and short trees, and routinely come to the ground. In dry areas, the animals may venture deep into caves in search of water.
At the DLC, crowned lemurs live in small family groups, usually consisting of an adult pair, their infants (twinning is fairly common in this species), and any juveniles from the previous year or two. Births at the DLC occur April through mid-June (mid-September through October in Madagascar), with gestation being about 120 to 128 days. Births in Madagascar coincide with the start of the rainy season. Singletons and twins appear to be equally common. Infants are initially carried on the mother’s belly, but switch to her back when they are a couple of months old.
Sexual maturity is estimated to be reached at around 20 months of age. It is not known if the presence of juveniles in a group during birth season or breeding season has an effect on either the production or survival of infants.
Crowned lemurs weigh, on average, about 1700 grams (1.7 kg. or 3.4 lbs.), making them the smallest members of the Eulemur genus.
The crowned lemur is a mostly diurnal lemur with a very limited range in the northern tip of Madagascar. They are sympatric throughout most of their range with Sanford’s lemur (Eulemur fulvus sanfordi).
Adopt a crowned lemur: Want to learn more about crowned lemurs AND help support their care and conservation, not only here but in Madagascar? Consider symbolically adopting Sanura, a female crowned lemur, through the DLC's Adopt a Lemur program! Adoption packages start at just $50. To adopt Agatha now, please visit the Adopt a Lemur homepage or click on the Adopt a Crowned Lemur tab at the top of this menu!
Send a lemur a present: You can send special treats to the DLC’s lemurs, as well as raw materials for us to construct special enrichment activities to keep them happy and healthy. Simply visit our amazon wishlist!
Visit the Duke Lemur Center: The DLC is only partially funded by Duke, so we rely heavily on revenue from tours to help pay for lemur care and housing as well as our conservation work in Madagascar. So, something as simple and fun as visiting the Lemur Center can help us help the lemurs! Just be sure to make tour reservations in advance.
Support the DLC's Madagascar Programs Fund: Did you know our conservation work in Madagascar is 100% funded by private donations and grants? Please consider making a contribution to support the DLC's conservation projects in Madagascar. Or, join us for Mission: Madagascar, our annual gala and silent auction! All donations benefit the DLC's Madagascar Conservation Programs.
Engage in conservation locally: Though it doesn't directly affect lemurs, the DLC also promotes local conservation. We encourage visitors to support local ecosystems and protect local habitats, similar to the way we're helping the local people in Madagascar preserve lemurs' natural habitat. A fun way to do this is to plant a local pollinators garden at your home or school. The DLC itself is incorporating a Monarch Waystation into its landscaping for the summer tour path in 2017. You can also stop using dangerous chemicals on your lawn, which might end up in lakes and streams and harm fish, frogs, and other animals.