Tenrecs and Lemurs at Peyrieras

13th October 2015. Peyrieras Nature reserve, Marazevo, Madagascar.

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Peyrieras Nature Reserve is akin to a zoo, with a wide variety of remarkable endemic species, many of which you might find difficult to encounter in the wild. The Lemurs, though are just out the back in the bush, enticed in by handouts of food.

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Common Tenrec.

Tenrecs are endemic to Madagascar (i.e. they are only found there).  There are thirty or more species of Tenrec with a wide variety of appearances and filling various ecological niches elsewhere occupied by hedgehogs, moles, shrews, mice and one even something like a water rat.  They produce up to 32 offspring in a litter and have seventeen pairs of nipples, more than any other mammal.  They are primarily insectivores.

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I didn’t see any tenrecs in the wild in my tours around Madagascar.

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Common brown lemur.

Lemurs are endemic to Madagascar and they arrived after Madagascar had separated from Africa (and South America), probably on natural rafts.  As with all four main groups of terrestrial mammals, in other words as with the lemurs, tenrecs, rodents and carnivores,  the many species of lemurs are thought to have evolved from a single pair.

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Coquerel’s sifaka.

Wikipedia says Verreaux’s sifakas were released here but these are clearly Coquerel’s sifakas, normally found in the north-west.  However, they were at one time grouped with Verreaux’s sifakas.

When humans arrived on Madagascar about 2,000 years ago, there were around seventeen species of giant lemur all of whom are now extinct.  The largest of these was about the size of a gorilla.  There are nearly 100 surviving species of lemur but 90% are vulnerable to extinction within the next twenty to twenty-five years.

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There are five families of surviving lemurs:  mouse lemurs,  Indriids (including the Indri, Sifakas and Woolly lemurs), Lemurids (Ring-tailed lemur, True lemurs including Brown lemurs, Ruffed lemurs and Bamboo lemurs), Sportive lemurs and the Aye-Aye.

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Lemurs are of course primates and separated out around fifty million years ago.  They have relatives in Africa and South-East Asia including galagos, pottos and lorises.

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The earliest primates developed around 55 million years ago and lemurs branched out early, arriving in Madagascar around 50 million years ago.

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The mother here is blind in one eye.

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Hmm.  Do you eat this perhaps?

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Only one working eye so no stereoscopic vision but still able to leap from branch to branch.

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There are nine species of Sifaka.  They have somewhat human-like proportions and are well adapted to jumping from tree to tree.

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Architecture, Landscape, Madagascar, Marozevo, Nature, Peyrieras Nature reserve, Photography, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Architecture, Landscape, Madagascar, Marozevo, Nature, Peyrieras Nature reserve, Photography, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Common brown lemur.  Notwithstanding the name, not necessarily that common.

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Architecture, Landscape, Madagascar, Marozevo, Nature, Peyrieras Nature reserve, Photography, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Architecture, Landscape, Madagascar, Marozevo, Nature, Peyrieras Nature reserve, Photography, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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