They demonstrate one of the greatest variations in sizes. Terms of Use and Privacy Policy: Legal. That is because the lemurs are endemic to Madagascar. At first glance, a lemur looks sort of like a squirrel, raccoon, or cat, but these animals really are primates, which means that they are closely related to humans. The lemur lineage continued in tropical forests, however, and they were particularly successful in Madagascar after some members of the lineage possibly floated across the Mozambique Channel on mats of vegetation some 50 million years ago. Sumatran Orangutan. Filed Under: Animals, Biology Tagged With: lemur, lemur vs, lemurs, lemurs vs, Monkey, monkey vs, Monkeys, monkeys vs, new world monkeys, old world monkeys, primates. Members of the related genus Eulemur include the black lemur (E. macaco), in which the male is black and the female is reddish brown. The rare black-and-white or black-and-red ruffed lemurs (genus Varecia) live in rainforests on the eastern side of Madagascar. The “true lemurs” (family Lemuridae) include five genera and about 20 species. Dwarf lemurs store fat in their tails for nourishment during the dry seasons when they go dormant. In my last Lemur post I talked about the history of Lemurs, this blog will help you understand the differences between lemurs and the primates that we are more familiar with.When you hear the word primate- you probably think of a chimpanzee and the various species of monkey you’ve seen at zoos. True lemurs, from which colugos gain their 'flying lemur' sobriquet, are primates, alongside monkeys, apes and ourselves. The word prosimian means “pre-monkey”, a fitting name for the oldest known group of primates. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. It’s a matter of classification. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. The dwarf lemurs (Cheirogaleus), along with the mouse (Microcebus), Coquerel’s (Mirza), hairy-eared (Allocebus), and fork-crowned (Phaner) lemurs, make up the family Cheirogaleidae, which in many respects are the most primitive living lemurs. Lemurs only live … A male marks the troop’s territory by slashing the trunk of a small tree with a horny spur on his wrist, making an audible click, and leaving a scented scar on the tree. Mouse lemurs, which eat insects and fruit, are the smallest living primates. Primates also include the great apes- orangutans, gorillas, gibbons, and humans as well as lemurs … The Duke Lemur Center of Duke University began as a small research colony of lemurs obtained from Madagascar in 1960. Lemurs are small animals related to monkeys, as are other Night monkeys. Lemurs are small primates known as 'prosimians,' which, roughly translated, means 'pre-primates' or 'before monkeys.' The distinctions in their body forms and other characteristics are important to notice. The order Primates, with its 300 or more species, is the third most diverse order of mammals,…, Suborder Strepsirrhini 3 infraorders of 6 families. Remains exist of species larger than any of today’s lemurs. …the group that includes the lemurs, lorises, tarsiers, monkeys, apes, and humans. Prosimian Cousins The nearest relatives to the lemurs are other prosimian primates, which include galagos, often referred to as “bush babies” because of … Get a Britannica Premium subscription and gain access to exclusive content. The populations of several species number only in the hundreds, and in 2000 a subspecies of African red colobus…. Their lemur-like primate ancestor is thought to have rafted over to Madagascar from Africa about 60 million years ago. 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