The lemurs

Lemur catta
Lemur catta

We cannot speak of without talking Madagascar of the lemurs: a set of primate mammals constituting a sub-order, also known as prosimians, being situated between the insectivorous mammals and the monkeys.

Endemic mammals

Most, like lemurs and aye-aye live only in Madagascar, but other species are also found in some African tropical forests (it is the case of bush babies) or Asian (for tarsiers and lorises). There are at this date more than one hundred species of lemurs.

A hundred species of lemurs in Madagascar

The smallest are barely the size of a mouse (lemur), while the biggest reach about 40 cm (or, for the Indri Indri, more than 50 cm) for some 5-6 kg.

Natural habitat of Madagascar lemurs

Most of the lemurs, arboreal, live in rainforests. Certain lemurs feed on leaves or on fruits, others prefer insects. The housing environment of every species is differentiated well, at the same time geographically and according to the type of environment (primary or secondary forest), with the exception of the mouse lemurs which are the only lemurs to live on the totality of the Malagasy territory.

Le Lemur Catta

The Lemur Catta (or Maki), characterized by its white tail rung by black or by grey, is an exception: he lives rather on the ground, in a housing environment where the drought is not excessive.
NB: The ring-tailed Lemur is the one that is found in the famous film Madagascar (The character named King Julian).

Origin of lemurs in Madagascar

The origin of lemurs in Madagascar dates back to the Eocene. At that time, they occupied a large part of the African continent. Scientists assume that at the end of the Mesozoic, lemurs left the continent on natural rafts carried by the current and stranded on the island of Madagascar.
Recently, the joint action of a change of climate on one hand, and the man on the other hand (hunting and intensive deforestation), led to the disappearance of numerous species of lemurs.

Where to observe lemurs in Madagascar ?

In their natural environment: journey to the discovery of endangered lemurs in Madagascar.
In captivity: in the Lemurs Park situated in Antananarivo (

Classification of lemurs in Madagascar

The suborder lemurs, or prosimians, includes:

The Lemuridae
The Lemuridae who are confined to Madagascar, five families include:
The Lemurs;
The Indriidae;
The Megaladapis;
The Cheirogaleidae (represented by the lemur said Microcebus murinus, which is the smaller of the Cheirogaleidae);
The Daubentoniidae (the Aye-aye said Daubentonia madagascariensis, is the only representative of Daubentoniidae in Madagascar)
The Tupaiidae (represented by Tupaia lemurs)
The Lorisoidea said loris, and are subdivided into Galagidés lorisids.
The Tarsiidae (Tarsiers lemurs).

To know:

The bushbaby called Galago alleni, occurs in Africa
The slow loris, called Nycticebus coucang and the hail loris called Loris tardigradus, are Asian species.



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