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lemur(lē`mər), name for prosimians, or lower primatesprimate,
member of the mammalian order Primates, which includes humans, apes, monkeys, and prosimians, or lower primates. The group can be traced to the late Cretaceous period, where members were forest dwellers.
..... Click the link for more information. , of two related families, found only on Madagascar and adjacent islands. Lemurs have monkeylike bodies and limbs, and most have bushy tails about as long as the body. They have pointed muzzles and large eyes. The fingers and toes have flat nails, except the second toe, which has a stout claw. Most lemurs lead an arboreal existence. Most lemur species are endangered or threatened, due mainly to habitat destruction.
The woolly lemurs (family Lemuridae) are agile animals with woolly coats. They vary in size from the lesser mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus), about 8 in. (20 cm) long including the tail, to some species of common woolly lemur (Lemur) that reach about 4 ft (120 cm) in length. They forage in trees and on the ground in large family groups and engage in social grooming. Most types are active both by day and by night. Their diet, which varies with the species, may include leaves, fruits, eggs, and insects and other small animals. Some build nests of leaves and branches in trees. The best-known species, the ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta), is atypical, spending most of the time on the ground. Its fur is gray and its tail ringed with black and white stripes.
Members of the other lemur family (Indriidae) are sometimes called silky lemurs. They are larger, slower-moving, strictly vegetarian animals; most have silky coats. One member of this family, the indri (Indri indri), has no tail.
, name for an aberrant primate, Daubentonia madagascariensis, related to the lemurs but distinguished by its specialized teeth and fingers. A large nocturnal and arboreal primate, it is found in dense bamboo forests in two isolated regions of Madagascar.
..... Click the link for more information. is closely related to the lemurs. The so-called flying lemurflying lemur,
gliding mammal native to the tropical lowland forests of S Asia, Malaya, and the Philippines. Also called the colugo, the flying lemur is brownish or grayish above and paler below. It ranges in length from 14 to 17 in. (36–43 cm), plus a 12-in. (30-cm) tail.
..... Click the link for more information. is not a primate, but a member of a different mammalian order. Lemurs are classified in the phylum ChordataChordata
, phylum of animals having a notochord, or dorsal stiffening rod, as the chief internal skeletal support at some stage of their development. Most chordates are vertebrates (animals with backbones), but the phylum also includes some small marine invertebrate animals.
..... Click the link for more information. , subphylum Vertebrata, class Mammalia, order Primates, families Lemuridae and Indriidae.
See A. Jolly, Lemur Behavior (1966).
a genus of prosimians of the family Lemuridae. There are five species: the black lemur (L. macaco), the ring-tailed lemur (L. catta), the ruffed lemur (L. variegatus), the red-bellied lemur (L. rubriventer), and the mongoose lemur (L. mongoz) They are distributed on Madagascar and nearby islands.