Black-and-white ruffed lemurs are endemic to the island of Madagascar. But here in Cornwall they are all around me - tempted by the whiff of grapes pathetically hidden in my hand. There are nearly one hundred species of lemurs and these are one of the big boys, dwarfing the more commonly seen ring-tailed lemurs that share their enclosure. In captivity they can live up to 36 years.
Lemurs are a type of primate called prosimians, in fact the smallest primate in the world is a lemur – the Madame Berthe’s mouse lemur - weighing in at just a couple of ounces.
Lemurs are a bit special. They are masters of evolutionary practice and their family tree is extraordinary in its diversity, allowing all near 100 species to co-exist on the same Madagascan island.
Here in Cornwall, the black-and-white ruffed lemurs are seemingly more interested in grapes than evolution - and that's fine by me.
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