The pelage of the ruffed lemur is thick, soft, and quite long. Even though the amount of black and white fur can vary substantially between one lemur and another, in general, the tail, hands and feet, shoulders, face and crown are black and the sides, hind limbs, hindquarters and ears are white.
The head-to-body length of an adult ruffed lemur is approximately 55-60 cm, with a tail equal in length. Its body weight varies between 3.5 and 4.5 kg.
Ruffed lemurs are sociable, living in groups of 2 to 16 members and reaching sexual maturity at the age of 2 years. Females bear litters of multiple offspring, in general, twins or triplets, although some cases have been recorded of up to 6 offspring in the same birth and they are placed in a nest. The offspring remain in the nest for several weeks and do not cling to the mother unless she moves them (the location of the nest is changed regularly) by carrying them in her mouth. The maximum life expectancy in the wild of the ruffed lemur is approximately 15-20 years.
These animals spend the majority of their time in the rainforest canopy showing preference towards large trees from 60 cm to more than 1 m in diameter. The Madagascar rainforest is one of its habitats but their population has dwindled down by almost 85% due to the use of wood for cooking fuel, construction, as well as the slash and burn method of agriculture. The felling of mature trees in the forest coupled with the fact that the ruffed lemurs are hunted for their meat, could lead to the local extinction of the specie.