Monday, April 20, 2009

Healthy Infants hold hope for lemurs

Shown above are ring-tailed lemur, Dorieus and her twins, Hibernia and Limerick. Yes, the twins were born on St. Patrick's Day. The twins are thriving. They spend a lot of time now riding jockey-style on mom's back. Erin, their primary Primate Technician, reports that they like to ride mom's back one above the other. If you only see one infant on Dorieus's back, its probably Limerick. He's the male and has been somewhat larger from the very beginning. But don't worry, Hibernia is still there. She just likes to retreat to the safety of riding on mother's stomach at times.

The twins are fitting right in with the rest of the troop. Recently, their older sister was seen grooming them. They are fortunate. Their mother is the high ranking female in their group, and ring-tails are a species where females are dominate. While life is full of challenges - especially for an endangered species - having a high-ranking mom adds a measure of security.

Duke Lemur Center's Breeding Program is being highly successful. Duke takes part in Species Survival Plans in coordination with the American Zoological Association to see that global efforts to preserve endangered species are maximally effective.

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