As part of our focus series, we’re covering a species endemic to the island of Madagascar, the lemur!
There are currently over 100 known species of lemur, all residing in Madagascar.
Lemurs are primates of the superfamily Lemuroidea. Most lemurs are relatively small in comparison to other primates, have a wet nose and pointed snout. Lemurs share a small resemblance with other primates, but due to Madagascars highly specific climate have evolved to a level of diversity unseen in other primate groups.
Lemurs although being comparatively small, range extensively in size, with the mouse lemur for example weighing only 30 grams, being about 4 inches long, while the Indris lemur weighs over 9 kilograms (although this one doesn’t have a tail).
Giant lemurs also used to populate Madagascar, such as the giant sloth lemur which was roughly the size of a male gorilla. It is believed that humans hunted these lemurs to extinction, as cave drawings showing the hunting of giant sloths with the assistance of dogs have been found in western Madagascar.
Lemurs are found in many habitats in Madagascar including dry and spiny forests, rainforests, wetlands and mountains.
Unfortunately due to rapid deforestation within their native habitat, lemurs are now classified as the most threatened primate species. Share our stories if you believe in conservation of charismatic species like lemurs!