Lemurs enjoying strawberries and cream
Deforestation, hunting, and poaching have combined to push 25 primates to the precipice of extinction, according to a new report from the United Nations.
The endangered species—which include rare primates like the red ruffed lemur, the golden-headed lemur (seen above), and the Grauer’s gorilla—are spread across Asia, Africa, and South America.
One of the most critically endangered groups is the northern sportive lemur, which lives in Madagascar—shockingly, only 19 are known to live in the wild.
"Lemurs are now one of the world’s most endangered groups of mammals, after more than three years of political crisis and a lack of effective enforcement in their home country, Madagascar," Christoph Schwitzer of the Bristol Conservation and Science Foundation, one of the groups involved in the study, told AP.
"A similar crisis is happening in Southeast Asia, where trade in wildlife is bringing many primates very close to extinction," Schwitzer said.
These primates’ survival is critical for maintaining biodiversity.
Glimpse ’em while you can.
They might not be here tomorrow.
Red-Ruffed Lemur Group Shriek
What an ear-ful! The red-ruffed lemur matriarch at the Bronx Zoo’s Madagascar! exhibit is named “Peacock,” but that noisy bird has nothing on this group’s volume. Shrieking is a regular part of the red-ruff’s repertoire. But even zookeepers aren’t sure what exactly causes it, and the chorus stops as suddenly as it begins!
(via; Wildlife Conservation Society)
Ready for my close-up: Limelight-loving lemur takes its very own ‘selfie’ - (Simone Sbaraglia/Caters) via Yahoo! News UK
Quiet, slow and shy, Pottos spend their days sleeping in nooks high up in the trees and nights hunting for tasty fruits, tree sap and the occasional sleepy bug. Only three North American zoos exhibit Pottos and only the Cincinnati Zoo has successfully bred this rarely seen primitive primate. In some parts of Africa, the Potto is called a “Softly-Softly,” however when the diminutive Potto is threatened, they will jab at enemies with pointy vertebrae on the back of their necks. Distantly related to apes and humans, they are more closely related to other lorises. These photos come to us courtesy of and copyright by the Cincinnati Enquirer.
So, the Bowmanville Zoological Park facebook page posted this photo album of a Slow Loris on his ‘trip around town’, being used as a photo prop. I don’t think I need to tell you why this is completely despicable.
Please feel free to comment on the album explaining exactly why it’s a horrible thing to do to this animal, even more so because they are a place that has a responsibility to promote conservation and humane treatment of animals - not use them as cute, furry little objects. They seem to be deleting comments as fast as they are put up, but we need to show them that this was NOT ok.
I’ve also read comments on the page about them loaning some of their animals out to CIRCUSES. I don’t know how accurate that statement is, however, but they certainly don’t seem to be too bothered taking a solitary, reclusive and nocturnal primate out onto bright, noisy streets to be passed around for photographs.
Update: It seems they’re deleting comments and then blocking anyone who doesn’t say “OMG so cute I want one”.
The delicate skeleton of the tiny creature, discovered in the solidified sediment of an ancient lake bed in China, is one of the most exciting fossil discoveries in recent years, researchers revealed.
Estimated to have weighed just 20 to 30 grammes, the long-tailed creature is the oldest-known primate to have been discovered.
The discovery suggests the early ancestors of humans were miniscule monkeys, smaller than rats.
Scientists have dated the incredible find to about 55 million years ago –about 10 million years after the demise of the dinosaurs and seven million years before the date of the previous oldest-known primate.
The skeleton dates from close to the evolutionary split leading to modern monkeys, apes, and humans - known as anthropoids and the branch leading to tarsiers or small, nocturnal tree-dwelling primates.
The fossil provides key evidence of the earliest phases of human and primate evolution, the international team of scientists writing in the journal Nature said.
Christopher Beard, a paleontologist at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, said: “Archicebus differs radically from any other primate, living or fossil, known to science,”
"It looks like an odd hybrid with the feet of a small monkey, the arms, legs and teeth of a very primitive primate, and a primitive skull bearing surprisingly small eyes.
"It will force us to rewrite how the anthropoid lineage evolved."
Archicebus achilles, which roughly translated means “ancient monkey”, is thought to have been active during the day, to have climbed trees and eaten insects.
The findings represent a decade of intensive research by scientists using expertise at museums throughout the world.
Lead researcher Xijun Ni, a scientist at the Institute of vertebrate paleontology and paleoanthropology at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing, said the fossil “marks the first time that we have a reasonably complete picture of a primate close to the divergence between tarsiers and anthropoids.
"It represents a big step forward in our efforts to chart the course of the earliest phases of primate and human evolution."
Keepers at Twycross Zoo are celebrating the arrival of a baby Crowned Lemur, born on April 11. Experienced mom Rose is doing a superb job. Infants are initially carried on the mother’s front but as they grow heavier they are moved onto her back. The father takes and active role in parenting as well. Tony Dobbs, Section Head of Primates, said: “The baby arrived a few days earlier than we had expected but both mum and baby are doing very well. While Rose is looking after the newborn, the father, Rik, has taken on the role of the proud, protective father.”
In the wild the Crowned Lemur is confined to a small patch of forest in Madagascar and listed on the IUCN Red List as Vulnerable. There their population is decreasing because their habitat is in rapid decline principally due to heavy mining, illegal logging and hunting for food.
Tiny nocturnal lemurs recognize their dad’s cries amid the other sounds of the nighttime Madagascar forests, a new study finds. The research is the first to show that solitary animals may avoid inbreeding by keeping an ear out for familiar voices.
Previous studies have found that animals living in complex social groups have no trouble recognizing their own kin’s calls, particularly the sounds of maternal relatives. Even goat mamas keep a long-term memory for their baby’s calls, according to a study published earlier this year.
But less is known about how animals recognize their father’s calls, and the cries of the relatives on dad’s side of the family. Likewise, researchers know very little about how solitary-living animals avoid inbreeding with dad’s side of the family.
That’s where the gray mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus) comes in. These cartoonishly cute lemurs are raised by their mothers without help from dad. When they grow up, they head out of the nest to forage on their own. But male lemurs’ ranges are large, and they often overlap with that of their daughters’, suggesting the primitive primates have evolved some way to avoid accidentally mating with a relative.
To find out how, researchers led by Arizona State University’s Sharon Kessler played male mating calls and alarm cries for 10 adult female gray mouse lemurs housed at the University of Veterinary Medicine in Hannover, Germany. Each lemur heard her father’s cries as well as an unrelated male’s. The researchers recorded how attentive the lemurs were to each call. For example, an interested lemur might stare at or run over to the speaker playing the call.
The female lemurs paid equal attention to alarm calls from fathers and unrelated males, the researchers report in an upcoming issue of the journal BMC Ecology. But when it came to mating calls, lady lemurs perked up much more at unrelated male’s calls. Compared to when they heard a father’s cry, the lemurs approached the non-kin speakers faster, sooner and stayed longer looking for the source of the sound.
The take-away, Kessler and her colleagues wrote, is that recognizing dad’s voice requires neither a big brain nor a complex social life. In fact, ability to recognize kin may have preceded complex social structures in evolutionary history.