The lord of the dance on the island of Madagascar is the Verreaux’s sifaka. Fancy footwork has made this species of lemur a global sensation, but these moves have real purpose. Whirling and twirling through the forest helps them to evade predators.
As dawn breaks, groups of Verreaux’s sifakas perform a dazzling dance display. They swing, leap, and bound their way to the feeding grounds where they forage for food. Only in the safety of the treetops can they sit back to munch on a variety of plants unique to the African island.
Sifakas are not only nimble on the ground. They also use their powerful hind legs and upright position to leap from tree to tree, often clearing distances of more than 9 m (30 ft).