Significance to humans

Lemuridae species are hunted and trapped for food. Some are kept as pets or shipped abroad for the exotic pet trade. A few species are blamed for raiding crops and are consequently hunted and trapped.

On the brighter side, ecotourism has taken off in Madagascar, and lemurs in the wild and their habitats have become a substantial tourist draw, bringing in valuable foreign exchange to Madagascar, one of the world's poorest countries. Through the scientific study of lemurs we can learn more about adaptive evolution and speciation. Lemurs have become rallying symbols for conservation because they are beautiful, charming, and fascinating animals.

Lemur Anatomy

1. Female and infant ringtailed lemurs (Lemur catta); 2. Female mongoose lemur (Lemur mongoz); 3. Male mongoose lemur; 4. Male variegated lemur (Varecia variegata); 5. Male black lemur (Lemur macaco); 6. Female black lemur. (Illustration by Gillian Harris)

1. Male red-bellied lemur (Lemur rubriventer); 2. Female red-bellied lemur; 3. Male brown lemur (Lemur fulvus); 4. Female crowned lemur (Lemur coronatus); 5. Male crowned lemur. (Illustration by Gillian Harris)

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