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All About Lemurs

 
Lemur are only found on Madagascar. They stole the show in the Dreamworks film, ‘Madagascar’, and are even more engaging in real life. The island is home to 101 species and subspecies of lemur, from the tiny Madame Berthe's mouse lemur — the smallest primate in the world — to the rather more hefty indri.
Berenty Lodge guest chalet exterior

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Woman with red fronted brown lemur on her back

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Visit lemur research stations

If you’re interested in learning about lemur conservation, Africa Exclusive can arrange a visit to SAVA Conservation, a research station run by Duke University. The Berenty Private Reserve is another hotspot for lemur field studies, and the lemur you’ll meet there are completely unconcerned by the presence of humans.
Sifaka swinging in tree

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Nocturnal slow loris in tree

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Learn about more obscure species

The Verreaux's sifaka are particularly energetic, dancing and performing aerial acrobatics, as if for your entertainment! You’ll be able to observe lemur up close, including a few of the nocturnal species.

Lemurs normally have long and pointed noses. They have a variety of fur colours, range in size and often their tail is longer than their body, helping to balance as they leap through the forest. Like many primates, they have opposable thumbs and long grasping toes; instead of claws, they have nails.
Common brown lemur in tree

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Madagascan fossa on tree branch

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Our Top 10 Lemur Facts


  1. Lemurs are primates found only on the African island of Madagascar and some tiny neighbouring islands.

  2. They are considered prosimians. This is among the oldest types of primate — prosimian literally translates to “before the monkeys" and they evolved separately from other modern monkeys and apes.

  3. Lemur means ghost in Latin because they are nocturnal.

  4. Like many animals, lemurs have a reflective layer over their retina, aiding their night vision and causing their eyes to shine in lights at night.

  5. They are arboreal species, typically living in trees, but cannot grip with their tails as some of their primate cousins do. They also spend a lot of time on the ground.

  6. Lemurs use their sense of smell to communicate with each other. They have scent glands on their bottoms and on their feet leave odours on surfaces they cross.

  7. While they usually have a vegetarian diet, consisting of leaves and fruit, they will occasionally eat insects or smaller animals.

  8. Lemurs are threatened largely due to habitat loss and deforestation.

  9. Their only natural predator is a cat-like carnivorous mammal called a fossa.

  10. Lemurs form and live in female dominant societies.

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