An international team, composed of Malagasy and European researchers, has just discovered three new species of lemurs, small primates endemic to Madagascar.
Lepilemur randrianasoli. Photo by: Nicole Andriaholinirina
The work carried out by this international team has enabled the identification of three new species of lemur based on the characteristics of their mitochondrial DNA : Lepilemur randrianasoli, L. aeeclis and L. sahamalazensis. They were discovered in the West and North West of Madagascar, bringing the number of species of lemur up to 11. This number probably underestimates the diversity of the Lepilemur genus, with other species no doubt waiting to be discovered in other parts of the island.
Lemurs are small, nocturnal, primates native to Madagascar, weighing around 800g. They belong to an endemic genus subject to great pressure by Man either by hunting or by deforestation, where the systematic is still much debated. Primates are divided into two suborders : Prosimians (Lemuroidea) and Simians, the latter comprising both monkeys and humans. Lemurs are classed as Prosimians.
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