The indri (lemur)

The indri also called the babakoto, is one of the largest living lemurs, with a head-and-body length of about 64–72 cm (25–28 in) and a weight of between 6 to 9.5 kg (13 to 21 lb). It has a black and white coat and maintains an upright posture when climbing or clinging. It is monogamous and lives in small family groups, moving through the canopy, and is purely herbivorous, feeding mainly on leaves but also seeds, fruits, and flowers. The groups are quite vocal, communicating with other groups by singing, roaring and other vocalisations.

Indri, babakotoIt is a diurnal tree-dweller related to the sifakas and, like all lemurs, it is native to Madagascar. It is revered by the Madagascan peoples and plays an important part in their myths and legends with various stories in existence accounting for its origin. The main threats faced by the indri are habitat destruction and fragmentation due to slash and burn agriculture, fuelwood gathering, and logging. It is also hunted despite taboos against this. The International Union for Conservation of Nature has rated its conservation status as "critically endangered".

Indris reach sexual maturity between the ages of 7 and 9. Females bear offspring every two to three years, with a gestation period around 120–150 days. The single infant is usually born in May or June. The mother is the primary caregiver, though the father assists, remaining with his mate and offspring. Infants are born mostly or completely black and begin to show white coloration (if any) between four and six months of age. The infant clings to its mother's belly until it is four or five months old, at which time it is ready to move onto her back. The indri begins to demonstrate independence at eight months, but it will not be fully independent from its mother until it is at least two years old.

Find out five interesting facts about the Indri