Ode to Lemurs

Lemurs are my spirit animal, specifically the Ring-Tailed Lemur. They are the perfect combination of fox, dog, and monkey. The scientific name Lemur comes from the Latin word for a kind of ghost. Meanwhile Ring-tailed lemurs Lemur cattus is either “clever ghost” or “cat ghost”. The name in Chinese is 狐猴 which means “fox monkey”. These names all exemplify the fact that lemurs are hard to classify. They are certainly primates, but their divergence in evolution is one very ancient, and their variations through Madagascar is greater than that of monkeys throughout Africa’s mainland. There are tree and land dwelling lemurs. There is the strange eye-eye with its one extra-long finger. There are lemurs as small as mice, and there was once a lemur as large as a gorilla. This makes lemurs a really interesting group of animals in their variation. Their colors can be either bold or subdued, and their activity patterns range from diurnal to crepuscular to nocturnal. Their groups can be big or small, but they are primarily matriarchal. Thus I think there is a ton of interesting things to look into as far as their evolution and behavior is concerned. I think they are both a little weird looking and cute. They are hilarious to watch with the leaping skipping gait of Sikas to the bouncing acrobatics of Ring Tailed Lemurs. They are clever in the way of primates and playful like otters. They have haunting calls that are said to echo throughout he forests and cliffs of Madagascar. They are the primary reason that I want to go to Madagascar in the first place. When I thought about a friend’s question as to what my spirit animal would be, my initial answer was fox. It took less than three minutes of actually pondering the question to realize that lemurs, the fox monkey clever cat ghosts, were actually much more accurate. This is to me because they are a combination of as aspects that I admire in many different animals. I like that they are clever. I like the monkey relationship as primates. I like their arboreal acrobatics. I like the silly and fun side of interactions I see between lemurs. I like that they are shaped like foxes and have the clever aspect that is associated with the look of the fox. I like that they are cute. I like the coloration from black to gold to white and the similarity to ring-tailed cats and racoons in some species. I like the variation in eye color from gold to a striking blue. I like the aspect of their isolated evolution. I even like their aspect of being ghosts attributed through their eyes and calls, the phantom of the opera of the animal world.