Woolly lemur

Woolly lemur

name = Woolly lemurs (Avahis)MSW3 Groves|pages=119]

image_width = 250px
image_caption = Eastern Woolly Lemur ("Avahi laniger")
regnum = Animalia
phylum = Chordata
classis = Mammalia
ordo = Primates
familia = Indriidae
genus = "Avahi"
genus_authority = Jourdan, 1834
type_species = "Lemur laniger"
type_species_authority = Gmelin, 1788
subdivision_ranks = Species
subdivision =
*"Avahi betsileo"
*"Avahi cleesei"
*"Avahi laniger"
*"Avahi meridionalis"
*"Avahi mooreorum"
*"Avahi occidentalis"
*"Avahi peyrierasi"
*"Avahi ramanantsoavana"
*"Avahi unicolor"

The woolly lemurs, also known as avahis or woolly indris, are nine species of strepsirrhine primates. Like all other lemurs, they live only on the island of Madagascar.

With a body size of 30 to 50 cm and a weight of 600 to 1200 g, the woolly lemurs are the smallest indriids. Their fur is short and woolly.cite book | author=Tattersall, Ian | title=The Primates of Madagascar| year=1982| editor=Columbia University Press| city = New York] The body can be grey brown to reddish, with white on the back of the thighs,cite book | author = Rowe, Noel | title = The Pictorial Guide to the Living Primates | year = 1996 | pages = p.47] with a long orange tail. Their head is round with a short muzzle and ears hidden in the fur.

The woolly lemurs can be found in both humid and dry forests, spending most of their time in the leafy copse. Like many leafeaters they need long naps to digest their food. Woolly lemurs live together in groups of two to five animals, which often consist of parents and several generations of their offspring.cite journal | author = Ganzhorn, J.U., Abraham, J.P., and Razananhoera-Rakotomalala, M. | title = Some aspects of the natural history and food selection of "Avahi laniger"| journal = Primates| volume = 26 | year = 1985 | pages = 452–463 | doi = 10.1007/BF02382459 ]

Like all indriids, the woolly lemurs are strictly vegetarian, eating predominantly leaves, but also buds and, rarely, flowers.

Males and females live in pairs. Although likely, the presence of extrapair copulations (which exist in other pair-living nocturnal lemurs, e.g. the Masoala Fork-crowned Lemur ("Phaner furcifer")cite journal | author = Schülke, O , Kappeler, PM & Zischler, H | title = Small testes size despite high extra-pair paternity in the pair-living nocturnal primate Phaner furcifer| journal = Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology| volume = 55 | year = 2004 | pages = 296–310 | doi = 10.1007/s00265-003-0709-x ] and the Fat-tailed Dwarf Lemur ("Cheirogaleus medius")cite journal | author = Fietz J, Zischler H, Schwiegk C, Tomiuk J, Dausmann KH, Ganzhorn JU | title = High rates of extra-pair young in the pair-living fat-tailed dwarf lemur, "Cheirogaleus medius"| journal = Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology| volume = 49 | year = 2000 | pages = 8–17 | doi = 10.1007/s002650000269 ] ) has never been demonstrated in "Avahi" species. The gestation period is four to five months, with births usually coming in September. In the first few months, the young rides on the back of its mother. After approximately six months it is weaned, and can live independently after a year, although it will typically live for another year in proximity to its mother. Overall life expectancy is not known.

On November 11, 2005, a research team that discovered a new species of woolly lemur in 1990 in western Madagascar named the species, Bemaraha Woolly Lemur ("Avahi cleesei"), after actor John Cleese, in recognition of Cleese's work to save lemurs in the wild.cite journal | author = Thalmann, U., and T. Geissmann | title = New species of woolly lemur Avahi (Primates: Lemuriformes) in Bemaraha (Central Western Madagascar)|journal = American Journal of Primatology| volume = 67 | year = 2005 | pages = 371–376 | doi = 10.1002/ajp.20191 ] In 2006 a taxonomic revision of eastern avahis based on genetic and morphological analyses led to the identification of two extra species: "A. meridionalis" and "A. peyrierasi".cite journal | author = Zaramody A., Fausser J.-L., Roos C., Zinner D., Andriaholinirina N., Rabarivola C., Norscia I., Tattersall I., and Rumpler Y | title = Molecular phylogeny and taxonomic revision of the eastern woolly lemur (Avahi laniger)| journal = Primate Report | volume = 74 | year = 2006 | pages = 9–22 ] Further taxonomic revision increased the number of species, by adding "A. ramanantsoavana" and "A. betsileo".cite journal | author = Andriantompohavana R. , Lei R., Zaonarivelo J. R., Engberg S. E., Nalanirina G., McGuire S. M., Shore G. D., Andrianasolo J., Herrington K., Brenneman R. A., and Louis E. E. Jr| title = Molecular phylogeny and taxonomic revision of the woolly lemurs, Genus Avahi (Primates: Lemuriformes)| journal = Special Publications of the Museum of Texas Tech University | volume = 51 | year = 2007 | pages = 1–64 |url=http://www.nsrl.ttu.edu/publications/opapers/specpubs/SP51.pdf] Finally a new species was discovered in the Masoala peninsula, Moore's Woolly Lemur ("A. mooreorum").cite journal | author = Lei R., Engberg S.E., Andriantompohavana R., McGuire S.M., Mittermeier R.A., Zaonarivelo J.R., Brenneman R.A. & Louis E.E., Jr | title = Nocturnal Lemur Diversity at Masoala National Park |journal = Special Publications of the Museum of Texas Tech University| volume = 53 | year = 2008 | pages = 1–48|url=http://www.omahazoo.com/ccr/genetics/papers/Masoala.pdf]


Nine species are currently recognized:
*Betsileo Woolly Lemur ("Avahi betsileo")
*Bemaraha Woolly Lemur ("Avahi cleesei")
*Eastern Woolly Lemur ("Avahi laniger")
*Southern Woolly Lemur ("Avahi meridionalis")
*Moore's Woolly Lemur ("Avahi mooreorum")
*Western Woolly Lemur ("Avahi occidentalis")
*Peyrieras' Woolly Lemur ("Avahi peyrierasi")
*Ramanantsoavana's Woolly Lemur ("Avahi ramanantsoavana")
*Sambirano Woolly Lemur ("Avahi unicolor")


External links

* [http://sun.menloschool.org/~djensen/madagascar/communities/florafauna/avahi2.jpgImage of female and young]
* [http://pin.primate.wisc.edu/factsheets/links/avahi Primate Info Net "Avahi" Factsheets]
* [http://www.newscientist.com/channel/life/mg18825252.400.html "Avahi cleesei" report]

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • woolly lemur — Woolly Wool ly, a. 1. Consisting of wool; as, a woolly covering; a woolly fleece. [1913 Webster] 2. Resembling wool; of the nature of wool. My fleece of woolly hair. Shak. [1913 Webster] 3. Clothed with wool. Woolly breeders. Shak. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • woolly lemur — vilnotasis indris statusas T sritis zoologija | vardynas taksono rangas rūšis atitikmenys: lot. Lichanotus laniger angl. avahi; woolly indris; woolly lemur rus. длинношёрстный авагис; мохнатый индри; руноносый авагис ryšiai: platesnis terminas –… …   Žinduolių pavadinimų žodynas

  • woolly lemur — noun or woolly avahi : a small long tailed woolly haired lemur (Lichanotus laniger or Avahi laniger) of Madagascar closely related to the larger indri …   Useful english dictionary

  • Bemaraha woolly lemur — Conservation status Endangered (IUCN 3.1)[1] …   Wikipedia

  • Ramanantsoavana's woolly lemur — Conservation status Data Deficient (IUCN 3.1)[1] …   Wikipedia

  • Moore's woolly lemur — Conservation status Not evaluated (IUCN 3.1) Scientific classification Kingdom: Animalia Phylum …   Wikipedia

  • Southern Woolly Lemur — Taxobox name = Southern Woolly Lemur regnum = Animalia phylum = Chordata classis = Mammalia ordo = Primates familia = Indriidae genus = Avahi species = A. meridionalis binomial = Avahi meridionalis binomial authority = Zaramody et al., 2006The… …   Wikipedia

  • Eastern Woolly Lemur — Taxobox name = Eastern Woolly LemurMSW3 Groves|pages=119] status = LC status system = iucn3.1 trend = unknown status ref = IUCN2006|assessors=Ganzhorn et al |year=2000|id=2434|title=Avahi laniger|downloaded=10 May 2006] image width = 250px regnum …   Wikipedia

  • Bemaraha Woolly Lemur — Taxobox name = Bemaraha Woolly Lemur status = EN status system = iucn3.1 regnum = Animalia phylum = Chordata classis = Mammalia ordo = Primates familia = Indriidae genus = Avahi species = A. cleesei binomial = Avahi cleesei binomial authority =… …   Wikipedia

  • Ramanantsoavana's Woolly Lemur — Taxobox name = Ramanantsoavana s Woolly Lemur status = status system = trend = status ref = image width = regnum = Animalia phylum = Chordata classis = Mammalia ordo = Primates familia = Indriidae genus = Avahi species = A. ramanantsoavana… …   Wikipedia

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