Indri

Has a laryngeal air sac, which allows them to sing loud, distinctive songs that can be heard from 2 km (1.2 miles) away

Stands as one of the most emblematic and largest living lemurs, a testament to the unique biodiversity of Madagascar, the only place on Earth where lemurs are found in the wild. With its distinctive appearance and hauntingly beautiful vocalizations, this fascinating primate occupies a critical yet precarious position within its ecosystem.

The indri’s pelage exhibits remarkable geographic variation, ranging from predominantly black and brownish tones to striking white and red patches. This variation is notably pronounced between the southern populations, which display more white patches, and their northern counterparts, characterized by darker coat colorations. The indri’s face is distinctively hairless, framed by large, fuzzy ears contributing to their unique and expressive appearance.

Indris inhabit the dense, humid rainforests of eastern Madagascar, relying on the canopy for both food and protection. Their arboreal nature is supported by powerful hind limbs that enable them to leap between trees with incredible agility, a mode of locomotion known as vertical clinging and leaping. Despite their size, indris can cover significant distances in the forest canopy, a testament to their remarkable adaptations to life in the trees.

The indri’s diet is primarily folivorous, consisting mostly of leaves, although it can also include fruits, seeds, and flowers, depending on seasonal availability. Their highly specialized diet is one factor contributing to the challenges of keeping Indris in captivity. These primates exhibit a nuanced feeding behavior, selecting specific food items at particular times of the day, which is difficult to replicate outside their natural habitat. This dietary specificity is believed to be a key reason why no indri has ever survived more than one year in captivity.

Classified as Critically Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the indri faces a dire future, with an estimated total population of only 1,000-10,000 individuals remaining.

Distribution

Country
Population est.
Status
Year
Comments
Madagascar
CR
2018

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Terrestrial / Aquatic

Altricial / Precocial

Polygamous / Monogamous

Dimorphic (size) / Monomorphic

Active: Diurnal / Nocturnal

Social behavior: Solitary / Pack / Herd

Diet: Carnivore / Herbivore / Omnivore / Piscivorous / Insectivore

Migratory: Yes / No

Domesticated: Yes / No

Dangerous: Yes / No