Sportive lemur

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Sportive lemurs
Ankarana sportive lemur (Lepilemur ankaranensis).jpg
Ankarana sportive lemur (L. ankaranensis)
CITES Appendix I (CITES) [1]
Scientific classification Red Pencil Icon.png
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Primates
Suborder: Strepsirrhini
Family: Lepilemuridae
Gray, 1870 [2]
Genus: Lepilemur
I. Geoffroy, 1851 [2]
Type species
Lepilemur mustelinus
Diversity
About 26 species
Lepilemur range map.svg
Combined distribution of Lepilemur [3]
Synonyms

Genus:

  • GaleocebusWagner, 1855
  • LepidilemurGiebel, 1859
  • MixocebusPeters, 1874

The sportive lemurs are the medium-sized primates that make up the family Lepilemuridae. The family consists of only one extant genus, Lepilemur. They are closely related to the other lemurs and exclusively live on the island of Madagascar. For a time, this family was named Megaladapidae, but the current name was given precedence since the extinct genus Megaladapis was removed from the family.

Contents

Etymology

French zoologist Isidore Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire first described the genus Lepilemur in 1851, prefixing the existing genus Lemur with the Latin lepidus ("pleasant" or "pretty"). However, it was erroneously spelled—a mistake later authors unsuccessfully attempted to correct to Lepidolemur. Members of the monogeneric family Lepilemuridae are referred to as either sportive or weasel lemurs. "Sportive lemur", which is more commonly used, was coined by Henry Ogg Forbes in 1894. Though he did not explain the name choice, he did mention the agility of Lepilemur. "Weasel lemur" is an older common name, dating to the 1863 publication of Cassell's Popular National History. Dunkel et al. speculated that was inspired by the species name L. mustelinus, which means "weasel-like" in Latin. [4] They were named weasel lemurs for their swiftness like that of mustelids.

Physical characteristics

Randrianasolo's sportive lemur Lepilemur randrianasoli a.PNG
Randrianasolo's sportive lemur

Their fur is grey brown or reddish colored on the top and whitish yellow underneath. They typically have a short head with large, round ears. They grow to a length of 30 to 35 cm (12 to 14 in) (with a tail just about as long as their body) and weigh up to 0.9 kg (2 lb). Their eyes have a tapetum lucidum behind the retina, hence they have eyeshine.

Behaviour and mating

Sportive lemurs are strictly nocturnal and predominantly arboreal, moving among the trees with long jumps powered by their strong hind legs. On the ground, they hop similarly to the kangaroo. During the day they hide in leafy covering or tree hollows. Sportive lemurs are mostly solitary and defend their territory against same sex intruders. A family unit of 4 sportive lemurs (2 parents, a month old baby, and an adolescent) was spotted by naturalists, the Kratt brothers while filming for their children's television show.[ citation needed ] The territories of males and females can overlap.

Diet

They are mainly herbivores and their diet consists predominantly of leaves.

Reproduction and lifespan

Birthing happens between September and December after a gestation of 120 to 150 days, and is usually of a single young which is often reared in a nest in a tree hollow. At about four months the juveniles are weaned but remain with their mother up to an age of one year. At about 18 months they are fully mature, and live to be about eight years old.

Classification

Related Research Articles

Weasel sportive lemur Species of lemur

The weasel sportive lemur, also known as the greater sportive lemur, weasel lemur, or greater weasel lemur, is a species of lemur native to northeastern Madagascar. Its habitat includes rainforests and tropical rainforests. Its dorsal side is a reddish-brown colour, and greyish brown ventrally. Its colour darkens towards the tip of its tail. Individuals weigh from 0.8 to 1.2 kg It has long, soft fur. Its body length is approximately 22–30 cm (8.7–11.8 in) and a tail length of 23–27 cm (9.1–10.6 in).

White-footed sportive lemur Species of lemur

The white-footed sportive lemur, white-footed weasel lemur, or dry-bush weasel lemur is a species of lemur in the family Lepilemuridae, the sportive lemurs. It is similar in appearance to other lemurs in the family, with a grey back, a pale grey to white ventral side, and a light brown tail. It is a nocturnal animal that moves through the forest using a vertical clinging and leaping technique. It is endemic to Madagascar, inhabiting the southern subtropical or tropical dry shrubland. It is threatened by habitat loss due to agriculture practices and charcoal production.

Small-toothed sportive lemur Species of primate from Madagascar

The small-toothed sportive lemur, or small-toothed weasel lemur, is a primate species in the family Lepilemuridae that—like all extant lemurs—is endemic to Madagascar. The species lives in dense rainforest in southeastern Madagascar, and can be found in Ranomafana and Andringitra National Parks. Described in 1894, it was considered either a subspecies or taxonomic synonym of the weasel sportive lemur throughout most of the 20th century. Phylogenetic studies not only support its species status, but also suggest that it is the only eastern Malagasy sportive lemur that is more closely related to western than to other eastern species.

Northern sportive lemur Species of lemur

The northern sportive lemur, also known as the Sahafary sportive lemur or northern weasel lemur, is a species of lemur in the family Lepilemuridae. It is endemic to Madagascar. As a result of severe ecological and human pressures, the lemur is classified as Critically Endangered (CR) by the IUCN Red List.

James sportive lemur Species of lemur

James' sportive lemur, or the Manombo sportive lemur, is a sportive lemur endemic to Madagascar. It is one of the larger sportive lemurs with a total length of about 60 to 67 cm, of which 28 to 32 cm are tail. James' sportive lemur is found in southeastern Madagascar, living in primary and secondary lowland forests.

Wrights sportive lemur Species of lemur

Wright's sportive lemur, or the Kalambatritra sportive lemur, is a sportive lemur endemic to Madagascar. It is one of the larger sportive lemurs with a total length of about 52 to 64 cm, of which 24–27 cm (9.4–10.6 in) are tail. Wright's sportive lemur is found in southeastern Madagascar, living in primary and secondary mid-altitude forests.

Fleuretes sportive lemur Species of lemur

Fleurete's sportive lemur, or the Andohahela sportive lemur, is a sportive lemur endemic to Madagascar. It is a medium-sized sportive lemur with a total length of about 58 to 67 cm, of which about 30 cm (12 in) in are tail Fleurete's sportive lemur is found in southeastern Madagascar, living in primary and secondary rainforests. The lemur was named after Fleurette Andriantsilavo, who was Secretary General of the Ministry of Environment, Water and Forests in Madagascar.

Betsileo sportive lemur Species of lemur

The betsileo sportive lemur is a sportive lemur endemic to Madagascar. It is a relatively large sportive lemur with a total length of about 58 to 27 cm, of which 32 to 33 cm are tail. The betsileo sportive lemur is found in eastern Madagascar, living in primary and secondary rainforests.

Seals sportive lemur Species of lemur

Seal's sportive lemur, or the Anjanaharibe-Sud sportive lemur, is a sportive lemur endemic to Madagascar. It is a large sportive lemur with a total length of about 57 to 64 cm, of which 25 to 28 cm are tail. Seal's sportive lemur is found in northeastern Madagascar, living in primary and secondary mid-altitude rainforests.

Hawks sportive lemur Species of lemur

Hawks' sportive lemur, also known as the Nosy Be sportive lemur or Nosy Be weasel lemur, is a sportive lemur endemic to Madagascar. It is a moderately large sportive lemur, with a total length of about 50 to 68 cm, of which 22 to 27 cm are tail.

Sahamalaza sportive lemur Species of lemur

The Sahamalaza sportive lemur is a species of sportive lemur endemic to northern Madagascar.

Grewcocks sportive lemur Species of lemur

Grewcock's sportive lemur, or the Anjiamangirana sportive lemur, is a sportive lemur endemic to Madagascar. It is a medium-sized sportive lemurs with a total length of about 55 to 63 cm, of which 26–30 cm (10–12 in) are tail. Grewcock's sportive lemur is found in northwestern Madagascar, living in dry deciduous forests.

Ahmansons sportive lemur Species of lemur

Ahmanson's sportive lemur, or the Tsiombikibo sportive lemur, is a sportive lemur endemic to Madagascar. It is a relatively small sportive lemur with a total length of about 47 to 54 cm, of which 23–25 cm (9.1–9.8 in) are tail. Wright's sportive lemur is found in western Madagascar, living in dry forests.

Hubbards sportive lemur Species of mammal

Hubbard's sportive lemur, or the Zombitse sportive lemur, is a sportive lemur endemic to Madagascar. It has total length of about 51 to 59 cm, of which 23–25 cm (9.1–9.8 in) are tail. Hubbard's sportive lemur is found north of the Onilahy River and south of the Mangoky River in Zombitse-Vohibasia National Park in southwestern Madagascar, living in dry transitional forests. The species listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and is threatened by habitat loss and degradation, forest fires, and unsustainable levels of hunting.

Petters sportive lemur Species of lemur

Petter's sportive lemur is a sportive lemur endemic to Madagascar. It is one of 26 species in the genus Lepilemur. It is one of the smaller sportive lemurs with a total length of about 49 to 54 cm, of which 22–25 cm (8.7–9.8 in) are tail. Petter's sportive lemur is found in southwestern Madagascar, living in dry spiny forests and some gallery forests.

Daraina sportive lemur Species of lemur

The Daraina sportive lemur is a sportive lemur endemic to Madagascar. It is a relatively small sportive lemur with a total length of about 49 to 56 cm, of which 24–27 cm (9.4–10.6 in) are tail.

Hollands sportive lemur Species of lemur

Holland's sportive lemur, or the Mananara-Nord sportive lemur, is a sportive lemur that is endemic to Madagascar. It is one of 26 species in the genus Lepilemur. This lemur is found specifically in the Mananara-Nord Biosphere Reserve, but the limits of its habitat have yet to be determined. It lives in primary and secondary rainforests. Holland's sportive lemur was described in 2008.

Taxonomy of lemurs The science of describing species and defining the evolutionary relationships between taxa of lemurs

Lemurs were first classified in 1758 by Carl Linnaeus, and the taxonomy remains controversial today, with approximately 70 to 100 species and subspecies recognized, depending on how the term "species" is defined. Having undergone their own independent evolution on Madagascar, lemurs have diversified to fill many ecological niches normally filled by other types of mammals. They include the smallest primates in the world, and once included some of the largest. Since the arrival of humans approximately 2,000 years ago, lemurs have become restricted to 10% of the island, or approximately 60,000 square kilometers (23,000 sq mi), and many face extinction. Concerns over lemur conservation have affected lemur taxonomy, since distinct species receive increased conservation attention compared to subspecies.

Jean-Jacques Petter (1927-2002) was a French primatologist known for his studies of lemurs and his conservation work in Madagascar.

Edward E. Louis Jr. is an American conservation geneticist who founded the Madagascar Biodiversity Partnership (MBP) in 2010. He is both the Director of Conservation Genetics at Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium and the General Director of the MBP. Louis attended the Texas A&M University receiving his DVM in 1994 and his Ph.D. in Genetics in 1996.

References

  1. "Checklist of CITES Species". CITES. UNEP-WCMC. Retrieved 18 March 2015.
  2. 1 2 Groves, C. P. (2005). "Family Lepilemuridae". In Wilson, D. E.; Reeder, D. M (eds.). Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. pp. 117–119. ISBN   978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC   62265494.
  3. "IUCN 2014". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. International Union for Conservation of Nature. 2012. Archived from the original on 27 June 2014. Retrieved 12 March 2015.
  4. Dunkel, A.R.; Zijlstra, J.S.; Groves, C.P. (2012). "Giant rabbits, marmosets, and British comedies: etymology of lemur names, part 1" (PDF). Lemur News. 16: 64–70. ISSN   1608-1439.
  5. 1 2 3 Andriaholinirina, N., Fausser, J., Roos, C., Rumpler, Y. et al. (23 February 2006). "Molecular phylogeny and taxonomic revision of the sportive lemurs (Lepilemur, Primates)". BMC Evolutionary Biology. 6: 17. doi:10.1186/1471-2148-6-17. PMC   1397877 . PMID   16504080.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  6. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 Louis, Jr., E.E.; Engberg, S.E.; Lei, R.; Geng, H.; Sommer, J.A.; Ramaromilanto, R.; Randriamanana, J.C.; Zaonarivelo, J.R.; Andriantompohavana, R.; Randria, G.; Prosper; Ramaromilanto, B.; Rakotoarisoa, G.; Rooney, A.; Brenneman, R.A. (2006). "Molecular and morphological analyses of the sportive lemurs (Family Megaladapidae: Genus Lepilemur) reveals 11 previously unrecognized species" (PDF). Texas Tech University. Special Publications. 49: 1–49.
  7. B. Ramaromilanto, R. Lei, S.E. Engberg, S.E. Johnson, B.D. Sitzmann, and E.E. Louis, Jr. (8 April 2009). "Sportive lemur diversity at Mananara -Norb biosphere reserve, Madagascar" (PDF). Occasional Papers. Museum of Texas Tech University. pp. 1–22. Archived from the original (PDF) on 3 April 2012. Retrieved 23 May 2009. Description of a new sportive lemur, Holland's or Mananara-Nord sportive lemurCS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  8. Mathias Craul, Elke Zimmermann, Solofo Rasoloharijaona, Blanchard Randrianambinina and Ute Radespiel (31 May 2007). "Unexpected species diversity of Malagasy primates (Lepilemur spp.) in the same biogeographical zone: A morphological and molecular approach with the description of two new species". BMC Evolutionary Biology. 7: 83. doi:10.1186/1471-2148-7-83. PMC   1913500 . PMID   17540016.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  9. Palmer, Jane (21 February 2008). "Henry Doorly Zoo scientists identify two new lemur species". Omaha World-Herald . Archived from the original on 24 December 2013. Retrieved 24 February 2008.