Lemuridae (lemurs; suborder Strepsirrhini (or Prosimii), infra-order Lemuriformes) A family of primates which in some ways resemble the ancestors of modern monkeys, apes, and humans. The brain has small cerebral hemispheres and large olfactory regions, compared with other primates. The snout is long, the upper lip is cleft, and the rhinarium is moist. The eyes are directed more to the side than in other primates and there is little binocular vision. In most species the external ears are large. The upper incisors are small and the lower incisors and canines are directed forward. Lemurs have marked breeding seasons. All modern lemurs are arboreal, herbivorous, and social. Lemurs were distributed widely throughout the warmer regions during the Eocene. Today they survive only in Madagascar, possibly because the isolation of Madagascar during the Tertiary left it with no native carnivores. There are four genera: Lemur (ring-tailed lemurs); Varecia (ruffed lemur); Hapalemur (gentle lemur); and the recently recognized Eulemur (brown lemur), with about 10 species. Formerly Lepilemur (sportive lemur) was included in this family but nowadays it is placed in the Megaladapidae.
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