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Lemuridae is a primate family consisting of lemurs from Madagascar. Lemuridae contains five extant genera: Lemur, Eulemur, Varecia, Hapalemur, and Prolemur.  Lemuridae species range in weight from 700 g to 4.5 kg. Forelimbs are slightly shorter than hindlimbs. In general, members of Lemuridae move quadrupedally along branches and leap across foliage gaps. Most live in groups and exhibit a cathemeral activity pattern, i.e. are active during both day and night, with the exception of the purely diurnal Varecia (ruffed lemurs). All Lemuridae species have at least spotty pigmentation of the ocular fundus; this pigmentation tends to obscure the golden shine that is normally produced when light reflects off of the tapetum lucidum layer in the eye (Groves, 2001).  

Genetic studies show that Lemur and Hapalemur are sister genera and form an exclusive clade (Mittermeier et al., 2008). This discovery makes earlier subfamily classifications obsolete; previously, Lemuridae was divided into two subfamilies, the Lemurinae (“true lemurs”, Lemur, Eulemur, and Varecia) and Hapalemurinae (“bamboo lemurs”, Hapalemur and Prolemur). 


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