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Sussman article.docx

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University of Toronto St. George
Dr.Joyce Parga

Adaptive Array of Lemurs of Madagascar Revisited – Robert W. Sussman Around 26 species of lemurs are found in Madagascar. Madagascar is divided into 2 vegetative zones: dry western zone & wet eastern zone 12 species are nocturnal, 10 are diurnal and 4 are cathemeral (active day and night) Lemuriforms of western Madagascar (seasonal plants and insects) Nocturnal Species Traits Food Cheirogaleus medius Hibernate for 6-8 months Frugivores Fat-tailed lemurs Store fat in tail Microbus murinus Doesn’t hibernate but undergo Eat insects and fruits Gray mouse lemur period of lethargy (lower activity) not as active during dry season Mirza coquereli Little seasonal variation in food Diet consists of Dwarf lemur consumption secretions of Remains active during dry seasons homopteran insects Phaner furcifer Has many adaptations for dietary Gums Eastern Fork-marked needs lemur Pointed nails to climb Adaptations to digestive tract Long pointed tongue Special dentition Lepilemur mustelinus Specialized alimentary tract and Leaves Weasel sportive lemur dentition Since the diet is different between species there is less competition. Diurnal Species Traits Food Lemur catta Quadruped Feeds on the ground or low Ring-tailed lemur Spends 1/3 of its time on trees ground Frugivores Fulemur fulvus Live in the forest canopy Feeds on canopy and emergent Brown lemur Rarely come close to the layers ground Folivorous Quadrupeds Monotonous diet on abundant plant species Propithecus verrauxi Larger than the others Feeds on canopy and emergent Sifaka Vertical clinger and leaper layers Rarely on the ground Folivorous Eats diverse plant diet Although these three lemur species have the similar activity patterns (diurnal) they are found in different strata of the forest. There are many similarities between the brown lemur and the sifaka but they are able to coexist because one is specialized in eating a certain plant species while the other can eat many different kinds of plants. Frugivores of the Eastern rain forest Species Traits Food Eulemur fulvus Arboreal quadrupeds Frugivores Brown lemur Unripe fruit and mature leaves
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