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The ocean currents were shown to be even stronger than today, which would have pushed a raft along faster, shortening the trip to 30 days or less—short enough for a small mammal to survive easily.
As the continental plates drifted northward, the currents gradually changed, and by 20 mya the window for oceanic dispersal had closed, effectively isolating the lemurs and the rest of the terrestrial Malagasy fauna from mainland Africa.
Due to Madagascar's highly seasonal climate, lemur evolution has produced a level of species diversity rivaling that of any other primate group.
He included three species under the genus Lemur: Lemur tardigradus (the red slender loris, now known as Loris tardigradus), Lemur catta (the ring-tailed lemur), and Lemur volans (the Philippine colugo, now known as Cynocephalus volans).
Lemures dixi hos, quod noctu imprimis obambulant, hominibus quodanmodo similes, & lento passu vagantur.
As with other strepsirrhine primates, such as lorises, pottos, and galagos (bush babies), lemurs share resemblance with basal primates.
In this regard, lemurs are often confused with ancestral primates, when in actuality, lemurs did not give rise to monkeys and apes, but evolved independently.
Lemurs are generally the most social of the strepsirrhine primates and communicate more with scents and vocalizations than with visual signals.
Many lemur adaptations are in response to Madagascar's highly seasonal environment.In this regard, lemurs are popularly confused with ancestral primates; however, lemurs did not give rise to monkeys and apes (simians).Instead, they evolved independently in isolation on Madagascar.Research facilities like the Duke Lemur Center have provided research opportunities under more controlled settings.Lemurs are important for research because their mix of ancestral characteristics and traits shared with anthropoid primates can yield insights on primate and human evolution.Different types of lemurs have evolved unique combinations of unusual traits to cope with Madagascar's harsh, seasonal climate.