Grooming is important bonding behavior among many primates. But while other species use their hands, lemurs uniquely use their lower teeth as combs to rake or scrape through the fur of another – or themselves.
The mandibular anterior teeth of lemurs are elaborated into a toothcomb, which represents a diagnostic character for all stresirrhines. As such, there are few departures from the basic structure across Malagasy lemur families.
The largest living lemur is the Indri (Indri indri) of the montane forests of eastern Madagascar. In coloration, it resembles a giant panda with its black and white fur, but in body shape is more anthropomorphic with its long neck and arms, and small ears.
The ring-tailed lemurs at the Japan Monkey Center apparently believed it was evening: They skipped breakfast, climbed up and jumped between trees and poles, a typical evening behavior, according to the zoo web site. They returned to normal after the eclipse.
Endangered lemurs have become luxury items on the menus of some Madagascar restaurants, reports Conservation International (CI) and its local partner, the environmental nonprofit Fanamby.
The Indian Ocean island nation has experienced political upheaval in recent months, with its president stepping down in March under intense pressure. The unrest has resulted in Madagascar’s suspension from the African Union and the withdrawal of international support that has long helped to fund environmental and conservation efforts in the nation.
They are found all over Madagascar, many species confined to discrete terrains and climatic zones, all compellingly unique. Ranging from the frankly bizarre aye-aye, with its bony Dickensian fingers, to the comical diademed sifaka, with its bouncing balletic walk, all the species are under threat to greater or lesser extents.
Lemurs are prosimians, which are primates that were the evolutionary predecessor of monkeys and apes (simians). There are nearly sixty types of lemurs ranging in size from the tiny 30 gram Pygmy Mouse-lemur to the 10 kilogram Indri. All lemurs are endangered species, due mainly to habitat destruction (deforestation) and hunting.
There are different levels of threat to the survival of various lemur species and subspecies. Some lemurs, such as the Red-ruffed Lemur and some types of bamboo lemurs, are considered "Critically Endangered," with only a few remaining in the wild and a drastically reduced range of habitat
Most lemurs of Madagascar and the nearby Comoros Islands have large eyes, foxlike faces, monkeylike bodies, and long hind limbs. Lemurs range in length (excluding the tail) from about 9 cm (3.5 inches) in Madame Berthe’s mouse lemur (Microcebus berthae) to nearly 70 cm (28 inches) for the indri (Indri indri). The bushy tails of lemurs can be longer than their bodies; the indri, however, has only a stub of a tail.
Lemurs are docile, gregarious animals; some species live in groups of 10 or more. Most of their time is spent in the trees eating fruit, leaves, buds, insects, and small birds and birds’ eggs, but diet varies among different species.