|Lemurs: Tails From The Canopy
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· Lemurs: Family
of 22 species of prosimians that live exclusively on the islands
and Comoro. Most lemurs
are arboreal. They live in a wide variety of habitats and feed
on plants and insects. Most lemurs are long limbed. They can
be diurnal or nocturnal or crepuscular. They have long, well
· Prosimian: Sub group
of the mammal order of primates. Prosimians are generally considered
to be the older branch of
the family and include lemurs, lorises, pottos, bush babies and
· Primate: An order of mammals that include prosimians,
monkeys, apes and humans. All have well developed binocular vision, and
prehensile digits (fingers and toes).
· Madagascar: Island nation in
the Indian Ocean off the coast of Africa. Fourth largest island
in the world. Many of
the native plants and animals are unique to the island.
· Habitat: The natural home of
· Ecosystem: A community of organisms
and the physical environment in which they interact.
· Fossa: The largest carnivore
on Madagascar most closely related to the mongoose. Chief predator
of many species of lemur.
· Predator: An animal that feeds
on other animals.
· Arboreal: “Tree dwelling” Animals
that spend most of their lives in the trees are arboreal.
· Terrestrial: “Ground dwelling” Animals
that spend most of their lives on the ground are terrestrial.
· Olfaction: The sense of smell.
· Sexual Dimorphism: Differences in physical characteristics
due to gender. Example: Male gorillas are much larger than female
gorillas…. In this species size is a sexually dimorphic
characteristic. In Mallard ducks, feather colouration is a sexually
dimorphic characteristic. Not all Lemurs are sexually dimorphic
but in Black Lemurs only the male is black; the female is primarily
· Species: Plants or animals
with clearly defined characteristics that can interbreed and
produce viable (non sterile) offspring.
· Subspecies: Plants or animals that genetically belong to a
particular species but are distinct in geographic area, culture
or minor physical variation
· Prehensile: Capable of grasping.
· Mandible: The jaw. In mammals
and fish it usually refers to the lower jaw, in birds it refers
to upper and lower beak,
and in arthropods, to the entire mouth.
· Diurnal: Active during the
· Nocturnal: Active at night
· Crepuscular: Most active at
dawn and dusk
· Gestation: The process of being
carried in the womb. In biological terms a gestation period
is the time between conception
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