The Silky Sifaka (Propithecus candidus), found only in northeastern Madagascar, is a large lemur that is one of the rarest of all mammals, threatened in its limited range by both habitat destruction and hunting.
Hibernating primates: scientists discover three lemur species sleep like bears
by Jeremy Hance
ears do it, bats do it, and now we know lemurs do it too: hibernate, that is. Since 2005, scientists have known that the western fat-tailed dwarf lemur hibernates, but a new study in Scientific Reports finds that hibernation is more widespread among lemurs than expected. At least two additional lemur species—Crossley’s dwarf lemur and Sibree’s dwarf lemur—have been discovered hibernating. So far lemurs, which are only found on the island of Madagascar, are the only primates known to undergo hibernation, raising curious questions about the relationship between lemur hibernation and more well-known deep sleepers…
(read more: MongaBay) (photo: MongaBay/Rhett A. Butler)
“The blue-eyed black lemur (Eulemur flavifrons) is one of the world’s 25 most endangered primates—and is the only known non-human primate with truly blue eyes (as an adult). With less than 2,000 specimens left in the wild, zoos and wildlife sanctuaries are trying to develop programs to ensure its survival. Dimbi [pictured] is a blue-eyed lemur cub born on April 19 at the Mulhouse Zoo and Botanical Gardens in Alsace, France.”
Among the list of new species are mouse lemurs, the world’s tiniest primates. Berthe’s mouse lemur (Microcebus berthae), discovered in 2000, is the smallest of the mouse lemurs and the smallest in the world with an average body length of 3.5 in (9 cm) and weight of around 1 ounce (30 g). It is found in the Kirindy Mitea National Park in Western Madagascar.
A veterinarian bottle-feeds Dimbi, a blue-eyed black lemur cub, on April 19 at the Mulhouse Zoo and Botanical Garden in Alsace, France. Dimbi was rejected by his mother after being born on March 8, prompting zoo staff to step in and raise him.
With more than 90 percent of all lemur species identified as critically endangered, endangered or vulnerable on the IUCN’s Threatened Species list, these small primates are considered the most threatened mammals on the planet. Native to Madagascar, there’s currently less than 2,000 blue-eyed black lemurs like Dimbi in the wild.
Two new species of lemur look so similar that it’s impossible to tell them apart without sequencing their genes.
The itsy-bitsy primates are both mouse lemurs, which are tiny, nocturnal lemurs that measure less than 11 inches (27 centimeters) from nose to tail. The newly discovered Madagascar natives have gray-brown coats and weigh only 2.5 to 3 ounces (65-85 grams).
Study researcher Rodin Rasoloarison of the University of Antananarivo in Madagascar first captured specimens of the two new species in 2003 and 2007. He weighed the animals, measured them and took small skin samples for later analysis…
… also know as peters’ or the dormouse lemur, the pygmy mouse lemur is a small (its actually the smallest) species of mouse lemur native to remote parts of western Madagascar. Once though extinct these small primates were rediscovered in the Kiridny forest in 1993. Their small size and nocturnal nature make them hard to study and it is not known if other populations exist. During the day they are usually found found sleeping either in the open or in abandoned nests of other lemurs.
Protecting the Alaotran gentle lemur in Madagascar
The Alaotran gentle lemur, or bandro, lives only on the shores of Madagascar’s largest lake, Alaotra. Now locals have banded together to preserve this slice of fragile biodiversity. The NGO Madagascar Wildlife Conservation uses ecotourism, education and conservation to bring development to the region and survival to its star furry resident.
The Common Brown Lemur (Eulemur fulvus) lives in parts of northern Madagascar. Its diet consists primarily of fruits, young leaves, and flowers. In some locations it eats invertebrates. It also eats bark, sap, soil and red clay (see geophagy). It can tolerate greater levels of toxic compounds from plants than other prosimians, with the help of the clay…
This cheeky little Red fronted Lemur (Eulemur rufifrons) was acting up for the camera at Anna’s Manor House Wildlife Park near Tenby, South Wales, UK.
The world’s zoo population of this interesting lemur species is very small, and Manor House is one of the very few zoos where you can see them. Unusually for lemurs, in this species the female is not dominant.
They are ‘sexually dichromatic’ meaning that males and females have different markings - so it’s easy to tell them apart. Both sexes have paleish patches over their eyes, males are greyish brown, while females are reddish brown. The males have a reddish crown, whilst the female sometimes sports a reddish beard!
In the wild, their natural lifespan is between 20 and 25 years. Adaptable too, when food is scarce the Red-fronted lemur will switch from a diet mainly consisting of leaves, with some pods, flowers and bark, to invertebrates and fungi.
A gray mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus), which is endemic to Madagascar, shown here in Ranomafana National Park, Madagascar. They are some of the smallest primates, with a head and body length of just 4.7 to 5.5 inches (12 – 14 cm) and a tail length of 5.1 to 5.7 inches (13 – 14.5 cm). Their long, thin lower incisors and canines make for a great dental comb used for grooming.
Verreaux’s sifakas (Propithecus verreauxi), like the one shown here dancing in the Berenty Nature Reserve, southern Madagascar, have distinct coloration with white fur and a hint of yellow contrasting their hairless, black face. Because of the structure of their legs, they often move swiftly in a side ways gallop like fashion when on the ground.