Indri

IndriIndri — The Indri (Indri indri), also called the Babakoto, is one of the largest living lemurs. It is a diurnal tree-dweller related to the sifakas and, like all lemuroids, it is native to Madagascar.

Along with the Diademed Sifaka, the Indri is the largest lemur still in existence. It has a head-body length of 64-72 cm (2-2.4 ft) and can reach nearly 120 cm (4 ft) with legs fully extended. It can weigh up to 13 kg (29 lbs).

The Indri is a vertical clinger and leaper and thus holds its body upright when traveling through trees or resting in branches. It has long, muscular legs which it uses to propel itself from trunk to trunk. Its large greenish eyes and black face are framed by round, fuzzy ears that some say give it the appearance of a teddy bear. The silky fur is mostly black with white patches along the limbs, neck, crown, and lower back. Different populations of the species show wide variations in color, with some northern populations consisting of mostly or entirely black individuals. The face is bare with pale black skin, and it is sometimes fringed with white fur. Unlike any other lemur, the Indri has only a rudimentary tail.

The Indri is herbivorous and primarily folivorous. It prefers young, tender leaves but will also eat seeds, fruits, and flowers. Female Indri seem to have greater preference for immature leaves than males do and will spend more time foraging among them. A wide variety of plant species are consumed, with members of the laurel family featuring prominently in the diet. The Indri consumes little non-tree vegetation.

To feed, the Indri plucks off a leaf or other plant part with its teeth. It uses its hands to pull tree branches closer to its mouth.

The Indri practices long-term monogamy, seeking a new partner only after the death of a mate. It lives in small groups consisting of the mated male and female and their maturing offspring. In the more fragmented forests of their range, the Indri may live in larger groups with several generations. Habitat fragmentation limits the mobility and capacity of these large groups to break into smaller units.

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