Here’s a nice way to make your day brighter: pictures of baby lemurs. Baby lemurs that you can see in Texas.
By coincidence, there are two different baby lemurs in the Houston Zoo right now, each with different parents and different breeds. On December 23, a male Coquerel’s sifaka lemur—those are the ones with white fur, and dark faces and chests—was born to mama Zenobia. The zookeepers declared that he would be called Dionysus, an epic name for a little guy, and he quickly began the lemur growing-up process of living on his mother’s chest, then her back. He is now beginning to discover his place in the world as an independent lemur, finding his feet as a clinging, leaping creature of the zoo’s forest-like habitat.
The newest lemur, though, is only two weeks old. That’s so young that the zookeepers don’t yet know what gender the lemur is, and have not yet given the lil’ critter a name. Born weighing just three ounces—a little less than a deck of cards—this one is still attached firmly to its mother’s chest, clinging away. Here’s what we do know about this lil’un: he or she is a ring-tail lemur—the kind that you probably think of when you think “lemur”—and it photographs extremely well. The zoo released a handful of photos of the tiny ring-tail staring out at the lens while clinging to mama, and the pictures are extremely cute.
The zoo also released a video of the lemur family, accompanied by soothing piano music. In this footage, taken when the baby was just seven days old, you can get a better look at the newborn—and see, for example, that the rings on the tail are already there, even though it’s currently a hairless, mouse-looking tail rather than the fluffy length of fur that it’ll eventually become as the baby grows.
The little lemur is most likely just a few days away from being able to move to its mother’s back, where it’ll get a better vantage point of its new world. Next up—as its white-furred cousin is learning—is climbing and eating solid foods, which are skills lemurs develop between three and six weeks. They’ll stop nursing at around four months, and should both be able to enjoy comfortable lives in Houston with their families at the zoo’s habitat.