LEMURS Essay, Research Paper



A lemur is a small, monkeylike animal that lives primarily in Madagascar. Their

sizes range from about as big as a mouse to as large as a cat. They have a roundish

head with a pointed muzzle and large eyes. Their fur is wooly and their legs are

longer than their arms. They are nocturnal animals, feasting on mostly plants,

small animals, insects and bark. The common enemies of lemurs are humans, the

fossa and the banded gymnogene. There are 22 species of lemurs, ranging from the

indri lemur, which is the largest lemur at almost 3 feet, to the mouse lemur,

a 5 inch lemur that weighs about 2 ounces. The ring tailed lemur is a lemur with

a 2 foot tail used to signal other groups of lemurs. They are the only lemurs

that spend much time on the ground. They live in groups of up to 30. The ring

tailed lemurs live in southern Madagascar. The colors of the ring tailed lemur

are black and white. It’s enemies are; large birds of prey and fossas. The aye-aye

is an almost extinct lemur. It looks like a large cat with bat’s ears, beaver’s

teeth, a middle finger that looks like a twig and huge eyes. It uses it’s middle

finger to dig for insects and comb its fur. The aye-aye lives on patches of coastland

in Madagascar. They are a sleek brownish color. Its enemies are fossas. The indri

is the largest lemur. There are many different species of indri. The avahi, verreaux

sifaka, diademed sifaka and indris are all indris. They live all over Madagascar.

They vary in color. The black lemur is in danger of extinction. One of its subspecies

is already extinct. Its body is 16 inches long and its tail is 20 inches long.

It can weigh up to five pounds and it lives in north and central Madagascar. It

can be dark brown or black. Its enemies are the fossa and the banded gymnogene.

There is another species of lemur that is called the brown lemur which is just

like the black lemur except it is a little bit more of a brownish color. The mouse

lemur is the smallest lemur. It is about the size of a mouse, but otherwise lemur-like.

It lives all along the coast of Madagascar. It eats small fruits, blooms, leaves

and insects. It’s color is a light shade of brown. Owls and fossas are its enemies.

There is two different kinds of mouse lemur, the lesser and the coqueral’s. A

smaller than average lemur, the weasel lemur, lives on the east and west parts

of Madagascar. It has big eyes and a small muzzle. It eats mostly fruits and plants.

It has a thick and wooly coat of fur and is a brownish maroon color. The enemies

of the weasel lemur are owls and nocturnal birds of prey. The mongoose lemur is

a very good climber and jumper. It is covered with silky brown fur, similar to

a bear. Its enemies are the fossa and the banded gymnogene. Its tail is about

twice the size of its body. It lives in northern Madagascar. The Rruffed lemur

is a black and white lemur. Its fur is somewhat longer than other lemurs. It lives

in families of 2-5 animals. It is a pretty large lemur, bigger than the black

lemur. It lives in northeast Madagascar. The red-bellied lemur obviously got its

name from its distinct red belly. Its enemies are the fossa and banded gymnogene.

It lives in the rainforests of eastern Madagascar. Besides its belly, it is crestnut-brown.

The gentle lemurs are a group of short legged, long tailed lemurs. They have long,

soft fur and pug-like nostrils. Their enemies are ring tailed lemurs, banded gymnones,

Madagascar Buzzards and death adders. They live on the east and west coasts of

Madagascar. There are two kinds of gentle lemurs, the broad nosed and the grey.

The dwarf lemur is about twice the size of the mouse lemur. Its enemies are owls

and fossas. It lives all along the coast of Madagascar. One species of dwarf lemurs,

the hairy eared dwarf lemur, is nearly extinct. There are five different kinds

of dwarf lemurs, the lesser, the greater, the hairy eared, the fork crowned and

the fat tailed dwarf lemurs. The lemur was once a species that lived all over

the world. It lived happily for a great while. Soon, Madagascar separated from

Africa. Not long after that, monkeys evolved. They were smart, big and could use

sticks and rocks to do things. They were every-where, except Madagascar. The monkeys

beat out the lemurs and other animals and the lemurs were isolated to Madagascar.

That is why the lemur can only be found in Madagascar. Through the thick and thin,

the lemur survived. Lemurs are endangered. The main reasons are that they were

isolated to Madagascar by monkeys, they are being killed by the fossa and their

habitat, the forest, is being destroyed by humans. That sounds like a lot to avoid.

It is. Several kinds of lemurs, the Aye Aye and the Hairy Eared Dwarf lemur, are

nearly extinct. Lemurs never did anything wrong. They just play in trees all day,

but somehow they got the bad end of things. Madagascar is home to many things

that don’t live anywhere else. The reason for this is that a long time ago, it

drifted away from Africa. A lot of animals that lived all over the world, lived

on Madagascar. Mada-gascar missed a big part of the evolution of animals. One

major thing was that monkeys evolved. They were everywhere except Madagascar and

they drove many animals to near extinction. But the same animals that were driven

to near extinction lived on Madagascar. So soon, those animals were only on Madagascar.

Meanwhile the monkeys kept on destroying and their ancestors did and their ancestors

did and so on. Today the monkeys’ descendants are still destroying. They are humans.

Now is the time for action. There are lots of ways to help. Give money to wildlife

funds, write letters to the president, make a petition. Stop the monkeys.

1. Adams, Douglas, LAST CHANCE TO SEE, Harmony Books, New York, 1990. 2. Burton,

John, CLOSE TO EXTINCTION, Gloucester Press, New York, 1988. 3. Chinery, Michael,

RAINFOREST ANIMALS, Random House, New York, 1992. 4. Diller, Helmut, MAMMALS OF

AFRICA,The Stephen Green Press, Lexington, Massachusetts, 1980. 5. Durrell, Gerald,

ARK ON THE MOVE, Coward-McCann, Inc., New York, 1983. 6. Durrell, Gerald, THE

ARK’S ANNIVERSARY, Arcade Publishing, New York, 1990. 7. Peterson, Dale, THE DELUGE

AND THE ARK, Houghton Miffin Company, Boston, 1989.

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