RESOURCES: Vanishing Ghosts of the Forest

Science  16 May 2003:
Vol. 300, Issue 5622, pp. 1061a
DOI: 10.1126/science.300.5622.1061a

The name “lemur,” which comes from the Latin word meaning “nocturnal spirit,” is sadly ironic. Many species of these photogenic primates are in danger of becoming ghosts because of deforestation and hunting. This pair of sites allows researchers and lemur enthusiasts alike to explore the lives of these close kin of the earliest primates, which inhabit only Madagascar and the neighboring Comoros Islands.

For detailed information on biology and conservation, check out Lemurs of Madagascar from the Expert Center for Taxonomic Identification in Amsterdam. The online encyclopedia profiles 33 species and 28 subspecies and features beautiful paintings of lemurs from the 18th and 19th centuries. (The site works best in Internet Explorer.)

A similar, but less technical site from the Duke University Primate Center includes plenty of candid photos of the endearing primates. (Choose the Flash version, then click on Learn at the bottom of the introductory page.)

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