Where are lemurs found in Madagascar?
Lemurs are primates found only on the African island of Madagascar and some tiny neighboring islands. Because of its geographic isolation, Madagascar is home to many amazing animals found nowhere else on Earth.
Lemurs are primates, an order that includes monkeys, apes and humans. There are approximately 32 different types of lemurs in existence today, all of which are endemic to Madagascar; a single island country off the southeast coast of Africa.
- Though primarily arboreal, they sometimes come down to the ground. The Lac Alaotra gentle lemur or bandro (Hapalemur alaotrensis), which lives in the reed beds of Lac Alaotra, spends much of its time in water and can swim well, unlike other lemur species, which only venture to water to drink.
- Lemurs are not well-suited to living with humans, and humans aren't super aware of how to live with lemurs, either. This craziness tends not to end well for the lemurs: Reuter's research shows that about 30 percent of pet lemurs in Madagascar “are killed by their owners following an aggressive incident.”
- Habitat loss is the main threat to lemurs today, as people clear their native forests for farm land. 80% of the lemur's original habitat in Madagascar has been destroyed. Out of the 50 different kinds of lemurs, 10 are critically endangered, 7 are endangered, and 19 are considered vulnerable.
Lemurs are small primates that live in Madagascar, spending most of their time in trees. They typically live in social groups of 13 to 18 lemurs, and help develop these bonds by grooming each other regularly. Lemurs have a main tongue used for eating, but they have a second tongue hidden under the first.
- Lemurs would not be able to kill a human, and they do not have predatory urges that would make them attack a human who was not a threat to them. That being said, their teeth are quite sharp, and if they feel threatened, they might bite or scratch you.
- Scientists estimate that 150-200 species of plant, insect, bird and mammal become extinct every 24 hours. This is nearly 1,000 times the “natural” or “background” rate and, say many biologists, is greater than anything the world has experienced since the vanishing of the dinosaurs nearly 65m years ago.
- G for Giraffes – a group of giraffes is called a tower. H for Hedgehogs – a group of hedgehogs is called a prickle. I for Iguanas – a group of iguanas is called a slaughter. J for Jellyfish – a group of jellyfish is called a smack.
How did the lemurs, flying foxes and narrow-striped mongooses get to the large, isolated island of Madagascar sometime after 65 million years ago? A pair of scientists say their research confirms the longstanding idea that the animals hitched rides on natural rafts blown out to sea.
- Like other strepsirrhine primates, such as lorises, pottos, and galagos, they share ancestral traits with early primates. In this regard, lemurs are popularly confused with ancestral primates; however, lemurs did not give rise to monkeys and apes, but evolved independently on Madagascar.
- The majority of lemurs are also diurnal, awake during the day and asleep at night — especially those that live in groups, including the ring-tailed lemurs, brown lemurs, and sifakas. The smaller mouse lemurs and dwarf lemurs are nocturnal, preferring to be active in the relative safety of nighttime darkness.
Updated: 2nd October 2019