Lemurs are the most primitive members of the order ‘primates’ which includes the monkeys. Today, lemurs are found in Madagascar, Africa and parts of Asia. At one time, they also lived in America and Europe where they fossil remains have been found.
Lemurs differ from other primates in having a long fox-like face and a long claw instead of a nail on the second toe. All the lemurs live in trees.
Lemurs live on a mixed diet which may include fruit, seeds, insects, bird’s eggs, or meat. Some of them are active in the day time and some are active at night.
There are many different kinds of lemurs. One large lemur lives in Madagascar and is called the “Sifaka”. It is brightly colored- white with black, red or brown markings.
There is a fold of skin between its arms and body that is probably a help to it in its long leaps from one tree to another.
Another group of lemurs is called the “true lemurs”, of which 13 kinds live in Madagascar. They have long tails and vary greatly in color.
The smallest of the lemurs has a body five inches long and tail six inches long. It is known as the “mouse lemur”. These little animals store fat around the base of the tail in good times. During the dry season when food is scarce, they sleep in a hollow tree, living on the fat in the tail.
The aye-aye is very different from other Madagascar lemurs. It has very large ears, long coarse fur, a long bushy tail, and long fingers. One kind of lemur, the tarsier, has a neck so flexible that, without turning its body, it can turn its head to look backwards.
To know more -