What are the lemurs? Are they monkeys, ghosts and spirits or just strange creatures that exist in this world? Let’s discover more about this through taking a look at what is presented here. The word Lemurs has Roman origins since it is derived from the word “lemures” that was used in the Roman mythology to refer to ghosts and spirits. Using such a name with its meaning may refer to the common features that can be found in both of them as the lemurs are considered by many people to be like ghosts for their weird look that scares you when you see them especially at the dark nights. The lemurs are sometimes confused with primates because of the common features that can be found between both of them but in fact, the only traits that they share with each other are just morphological and behavioral and they are shared with the basal primates only.
♦ Where do the lemurs live?
The main place in which you can find lemurs and enjoy seeing them is the island of Madagascar. When the lemurs arrived in the island of Madagascar, they started to evolve in order to cope with the surrounding conditions and the environment which is extremely seasonal making them different from other primate groups that are usually confused with them.
♦ What are the characteristics of lemurs?
Lemurs’ weight ranges from 30 g to 9 kg (1.1 oz – 20 lb). Most of the lemurs have nails instead of the claws that most of the animals have. The size of their brains to their bodies is considered to be small if it is compared to other anthropoid primates that have larger heads. The lemurs have wet nose and are more social than other strepsirrhine primates. They have the ability to communicate with vocalizations and scents more than visual signals. The basal metabolic rates that the lemurs have are relatively low.
♦ What do the lemurs eat?
Most of the lemurs prefer to eat a large diversity of leaves and fruits and there are species of lemur that prefer to eat specific types and specialize in having certain fruits or leaves.
♦ The most endangered mammals in the world
The lemurs are considered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) to be the most endangered mammals in the world. There are many factors that are responsible for decreasing the number of lemurs and threatening them with extinction such as illegal hunting and removing their habitat or forests in which they live. There are also other factors that play an important role in making the lemurs endangered such as poverty, chaos and political instability. All of these factors discourage the process of protecting the lemurs from being endangered.
To conclude, lemurs are scientifically considered to be a mixture of primitive characteristics and more developed features that can be found in the anthropoid primates making the lemurs perfect for doing researches and discovering more about the primate and human evolution that took place throughout the past decades and centuries. For this reason, we have to protect the lemurs from extinction.