New Madagascar lemur discovered

This video is called Sifaka lemurs leaping and locomoting in Madagascar.

From the BBC:

New species of lemur discovered in Madagascar

A species of fork-marked lemur believed to be new to science has been found in the forests of Madagascar.

The find is revealed on the BBC documentary Decade of Discovery.

Primate expert and president of Conservation International, Russ Mittermeier, first spotted the lemur during an expedition in 1995, but has confirmed its existence whilst filming the documentary this year, when he and his colleagues captured and took blood samples from the small primate before returning it to its forest home.

Genetic testing of these samples should confirm whether the animal is indeed a new species.

Dr Mittermeier, however, is already convinced that it is.

Forked-marked lemurs belong to the genus, or group of species, called Phaner. If confirmed as a new species, this would be only the fifth member of that group.

Following the call

Dr Mittermeier first saw the squirrel-sized creature in Daraina, a protected area in the northeast of Madagascar.

He was there in search of another lemur – the golden-crowned Tattersall’s sifaka (Propithecus tattersali), a much larger species only discovered in 1988.

“I was surprised to see a fork-marked lemur there, since this animal had not yet been recorded from the region,” he recalled.

“I immediately knew that it was likely a new species to science, but didn’t have the time to follow up until now.”

So in October of this year, the researcher led an expedition – including geneticist Ed Louis from the Omaha Zoo and a film crew from the BBC’s Natural History Unit – to the same area, where they managed to track down the animal. …


Phaner lemurs have a black, Y-shaped line that starts above each eye and joins together as a single line on the top of the head, creating the fork that gives these animals their common name
Their large hands and feet help them grip onto trees
The lemurs vocalise with the loud, high-pitched night-time call
They tend to run rapidly along horizontal tree branches and to jump from one branch to the next without pausing
Their diet consists of a high proportion of gums exuded by trees and nectar from flowers
A long tongue enables them to slurp up nectar and a specialised toothcomb acts as a scraping tool to bite into tree bark

See also here.

Dwarf and mouse lemurs are the smallest primates on the planet: here.

Poacher is caught in Madagascar with 32 grilled lemurs: here.

Contrasting coat colours make the red ruffed lemur one of the most beautiful lemurs: here.

Indri video: here.

Greater bamboo lemurs are a step further from extinction as new populations are discovered: here.

Golden bamboo lemur: here.

Like its larger relatives Archaeoindris and Palaeopropithecus, Babakotia was a specialized type of primate known as a “sloth lemur,” a ponderous, long-legged, sloth-like mammal that lived high up in trees, where it subsisted on leaves, fruits and seeds. No one knows exactly when Babakotia went extinct, but it seems to have been around the time the first human settlers arrived on Madagascar, between 1,000 and 2,000 years ago: here.

WWF to Madagascar’s president: keep your promise and stop illegal logging: here.

Tenrec discovery on Madagascar: here.

A new species of Paretroplus (Teleostei: Cichlidae: Etroplinae) from NE Madagascar: here.

In an effort to help address this critical need for data about the diversity and distribution of life on our planet, scientists from the California Academy of Sciences have spent the past year exploring some of the most diverse—and often most threatened—habitats on Earth, searching for new species and creating comprehensive biodiversity maps. In 2010, these scientists have added 113 new relatives to our family tree, including 83 arthropods, 20 fishes, four corals, two sea slugs, two plants, one reptile, and one fossil mammal. The new species were described by a dozen scientists from the California Academy of Sciences along with several dozen international collaborators: here.

A new evolutionary history of primates: here.

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7 thoughts on “New Madagascar lemur discovered

  1. Lemurs – the oldest living primates in the world – are under attack.

    Madagascar is their only natural habitat, and logging and slash-and-burn agriculture are rapidly destroying the forests they rely on. 90% of the forests in Madagascar are gone.

    Without a place to call home, lemurs will disappear from the island – and our world. Already, at least 15 lemur species are extinct.

    You can help protect the lemurs of Madagascar and defend biodiversity around the world with your gift to CI today.

    Madagascar is home to a rich tapestry of species, including the most diverse chameleon population in the world. But as forests are cut down, only a sliver of Madagascar’s forests remains…and if we don’t act now, we could lose these animals forever.

    Conservation International is rolling out an ambitious plan to preserve our world’s biodiversity. In Madagascar, that means:

    Replanting and restoring more than 7,400 acres of forest, while also providing hundreds of well-paying jobs for the Malagasy people;
    Introducing sustainable farming and irrigation practices to local farmers, eliminating the need to clear-cut forests every few months;
    Working to complete the Mantadia Corridor project, which will reconnect forest fragments around the country so lemurs can roam freely; and,
    Partnering with local leaders to develop ecotourism, protecting lemur habitats and creating a steady revenue stream for communities.

    Conservation isn’t just about replanting trees. It’s about working in concert with nature – not against it. And by engaging people in conservation efforts, we can save the world’s natural resources.

    That’s why we’re working in Madagascar to rebuild forests, safeguarding fresh water in Mali, and promoting responsible farming in Mexico and Brazil. Supported by strong science and diverse partners across the globe, we’re helping build a planet that considers and values nature at every turn. But we can’t do it alone, Herman.

    Your gift can make this possible. Please, help us reach our $15,000 goal with your contribution today.

    Thank you for your generosity.


    Russell A. Mittermeier
    President, Conservation International


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