Projects: Mouse Lemur - Species and habitats
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Lemurs: Tails From The Canopy
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Projects for Individuals and Classes

What’s in a Name?
The word Lemur comes from the Latin and means ‘spirit of the dead’. The lemurs got their name from the Romans who explored Madagascar and heard the primates before they saw them. The animals’ calls reminded the Romans of ghosts and so they got their name.

Many species of animals have names which either come from a human association…. As with Lemurs, or which have been given to certain human characteristics such as a “Shrew”. But do lemurs really resemble ghosts; are nagging, over talkative people really like shrews?


Have students explore 3 animal names with distinct cultural significance. Then have them research the behavior of the animals they have chosen. Have them explore the history of the names and report on their perceived appropriateness.

If I Were A Lemur
There are 22 species of lemur, from the largest the Indri… to the smallest, the Mouse Lemur. Different species live in different habitats and have different diets, social structures, and life styles. Some are nocturnal… some are diurnal. Have each student pick a species of lemur and research its behavior, habitat and conservation status. When they have completed their research have students write a story, from their lemur’s perspective, about a day in the wild. The story should reflect the information that each student has learned in research, as well as show imaginative insight. (Students could also research the life and behavior of Fossa and write the story from the predator’s perspective). Instead of a story some students may want to take their research information and using art supplies create a diorama of a particular lemur species habitat. They should try to reasonably represent and label the plants and terrain, and include lemurs and predators in realistic ways.

Eyes On The Lemur
The lemurs in the film live at the Tiger Homes Wildlife Sanctuary. As depicted in the film, the sanctuary has a web site where individuals can watch the animals via cameras in their enclosures. Have students pick one of the lemur species to observe and have them log on to the web site once a day for a week. Each day they should watch the behaviors of the lemurs and keep a log of what they see. They can also do this in groups with each member of the group observing the lemurs at the same time every day. Example student A watches and logs behavior every day from 3:00p.m. to 3:20, student B observes and logs from 4:00-4:20, and so on. At the end of the observation period the students can put their logs together to see a more comprehensive picture of the animals’ behavior and habits. At the end of the research period students might want to email the keepers at Tiger Home with questions that their observations may have raised.

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Projects: Mouse Lemur