Wednesday, April 15, 2015

And then there are the ringtail lemurs...

The ringtail lemur is not native to this area and compared to ringtails we saw elsewhere, they have sparsely furred tails and some are missing big patches of fur on the body. One guide says it’s because one of the trees there, Leucaena leucocephala, an introduced (from Mexico) tree rich in toxic mimosine, has leaves that the lemurs eat; it’s been linked to hair loss. Another said there isn’t as much fruit in these dry spiny forests as in the rainforests they are endemic to, so they eat the leaves of the Leucaena, to which they are allergic, in the dry season, when better foods aren’t available.
Either way, the ringtails score a fair amount of French bread from the dining area, and not just from me and Mike & Kathy Commons, who traveled with me.

 A ringtail hoping to help Mike Commons with lunch:

And a few trying to stare Kathy Commons down:

More of the appealing little beggars:

And a little video:

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