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Saturday, 29 April 2017

Primate

Primates in zoology are an order of mammals that contains all lemurs, monkeys and apes including humans.

Primates are split into two groups: Strepsirrhini and Haplorhini. Haplorrhini includes monkeys, tarsiers and apes including humans. Strepsirrhini includes lemurs, lorises, galagos (also called bush babies) and the Aye-Aye.

Ring-tailed lemur, a strepsirrhine primate

Primates have hands with five fingers and flat fingernails (most other animals have claws).

Primates and opossums are the only mammals with opposable first toes.

Humans are the only primates to have protruding chins. Non-human anthropoid apes have a simian shelf for example.

The blue-eyed black lemur is the only primate, other than humans, to have blue eyes.

Detail of face showing blue eyes. By Bruce McAdam from Reykjavik, Iceland Wikipedia

With the exception of humans, who inhabit every continent, most primates live in tropical or subtropical regions of the Americas, Africa and Asia.

The slow loris is the only venomous primate on Earth. It sucks venom from a patch on its elbow before giving a lethal bite to its victim.

Madame Berthe's mouse lemur (Microcebus berthae) is the world's smallest primate, growing to just 9 cm long and its seasonal weight is around 30 g (1.1 oz). Madame Berthe's mouse lemur can be found in Madagascar's woodlands.

Madame Berthe's Mouse Lemur (Microcebus berthae). By FC Casuario  Wikipedia

Orangutans are the least social of all primates. Females spend up to 25 per cent of their time with other orangutans. Males less than 9 per cent.

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