Management and husbandry of ruffed lemurs, Varecia variegata, at the San Diego Zoo. II. Reproduction, pregnancy, parturition, litter size, infant care, and reintroduction of hand‐raised infants

Diane K. Brockman, Mary S. Willis, William B. Karesh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Detailed descriptions of ruffed lemur reproductive biology and behavior are presented, including data on pregnancy, parturition, litter size, and infant care. As with various other prosimians, ruffed lemurs are reproductively photosensitive and seasonally polyestrous. Litters of one to six infants are born from March through July after a gestation length of 102 days. The most frequent litter size in captivity is twins, followed by singletons. Females give birth in nest boxes, usually between the hours of 2000 and 0400. Maternal neglect is associated with low birth weight, infant hypothermia, and large litter size. Infants rejected by the dams are artificially reared in a nursery setting and reintroduced to adult animals at 4–6 months of age.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)349-363
Number of pages15
JournalZoo Biology
Volume6
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 1987
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • maternal neglect
  • nest box
  • reproductive biology
  • twins

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology

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