Thursday, June 26, 2014

Check out LJ. He's pretty great. Or at least he used to be.

One of the joys of studying the same wild animals repeatedly is that you get to know individuals and can follow their life events. "LJ" is one of my favorite ring-tailed lemurs from Tsimanampetsotsa and he has undergone some dramatic changes over the last few years. So, why don't I tell you about him? 

Here's LJ. All young and cute.

First, he's got a weird looking cap (the grey part of fur on his forehead) that reminds me of pulled back drapes.

LJ and his curtain cap.
This is in the wet season, when he was fat. 

But, I'd be lying if I told you that this was how I distinguish him from the other 10-15 males in his group. Because its not. "LJ" stands for 'Long John'. And that is what LJ has. A long john. Not so classy, I know, but seriously, I could point out LJ from halfway across the forest. With one eye. 

I know that you are curious.
Look, even the creepy lemur in the background is looking at LJ's lj. 

LJ used to be high ranking (for a male) and was quite popular with the ladies. But he also used to have a symmetrical face and an entire tail. 

LJ, pondering the meaning of the universe. Or something. 

But some where along the way LJ lost his hot-shot status, and maybe scrapped it out with other males one too many times. Now, he is the lowest ranked boy, has a totally jacked up grill, one ear that is barely hanging on, and is missing half his tail. I don't have a clue what happened to his face, but suspect that he had a dental abscess, lost a tooth or two, and now his canines are drifting in different directions. Which makes one canine look ridiculously big and the other one all but disappear. And he only has half of his tail. Lord only knows what happened there. 

LJ's huge tooth!

LJ. Big tooth vs. little tooth. 

You can see a little more of that huge tooth here:

And that's LJ. In all his glory. 

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