What is a lemur?
Lemurs are a unique group of primates native to Madagascar, an island off the coast of east Africa. Although they are related to monkeys and apes, lemurs make up a separate branch of the primate family tree and are classified as a superfamily, made up of five individual lemur families and more than 100 different species.
Is the Sahamalaza sportive lemur a distinct species?
The Sahamalaza sportive lemur ( Lepilemur sahamalazensis) was identified as a distinct species in 2006. Lemur taxonomy has changed significantly since the first taxonomic classification of lemurs by Carl Linnaeus in 1758.
How are lemurs protected in Madagascar?
Starting in 1927, the Malagasy government has declared all lemurs as “protected” by establishing protected areas that are now classified under three categories: National Parks (Parcs Nationaux), Strict Nature Reserves (Réserves Naturelles Intégrales), and Special Reserves (Réserves Spéciales).
Are lemurs ancestral primates?
Like other strepsirrhine primates, such as lorises, pottos, and galagos, they share ancestral (or plesiomorphic) traits with early primates. In this regard, lemurs are popularly confused with ancestral primates; however, lemurs did not give rise to monkeys and apes ( simians ). Instead, they evolved independently in isolation on Madagascar.
In the broad sense, the term lemur applies not only to the typical lemurs (family Lemuridae) but also to the avahi s, sifaka s, indri, and aye-aye of Madagascar, in addition to the loris es, potto, and bush babies of Southeast Asia and Africa. Defined more narrowly, it excludes the last three (the Lorisiformes ).
What is a ring-tailed lemur?
The best known of these is the ring-tailed lemur ( Lemur catta ), commonly seen in zoos. It is unique both in its habitat (some dry and rocky areas of Madagascar) and for its striped tail (all other lemurs have solid-coloured tails).
What is the dental health of a lemur?
Little other dental health information is available for lemurs, except that wild ring-tailed lemurs at Berenty Private Reserve occasionally exhibit abscessed maxillary canines (seen as open wounds on the muzzle) and tooth decay, possibly due to the consumption of non-native foods.
Is the aye-aye the most basal lemur?
Although it is generally agreed that the aye-aye is the most basal member of the lemur clade, the relationship between the other four families is less clear since they diverged during a narrow 10 to 12 million-year window between the Late Eocene (42 mya) and into the Oligocene (30 mya).