Thursday, September 13, 2012
Lemurs only inhabit Madagascar, a small island off the coast of Africa. It is believed they arrived to Madagascar 65 million years ago on rafts of floating vegetables. Madagascar was formed during the break-up of Gondwanaland, 135 million years ago. 90% of the species found on Madagascar are endemic, meaning they can only be found on the island. As of 2012, 103 species of Lemur have been identified.
Lemurs vary greatly in size, the smallest is the Mouse Lemur at 1.1 oz, and the largest at 20 lb for the Indri. Recently extinct species of Lemur could get to the size of a male gorilla. Lemurs do not have prehensile tails, that is a trait only found in new world monkeys. Each subspecies of Lemur has evolved specific traits to help give it a competitive edge. Most Lemurs have specialized teeth, the Aye-Aye has incisors that continuously grow to allow it to gnaw on seeds and wood. Other Lemurs have a tooth comb that is used for grooming purposes. Lemurs have extremely fast tooth development, often far faster than the rest of their body.
That's it for now,