A Catalogue of the Prosimians

Seven families, subdivided into 3 groups: Lemuriformes and Lorisiformes which are the prosimians even if you classify by ancestry, and the Tarsiformes who are developmentally like the prosimians but are actually more closely related to the anthropoids.

1. Lemuriformes (All found only in Madagascar)
Lemurs used to be all over the world, but they got outcompeted by the more advanced anthropoids. The anthropoids never got to Madagascar, so the lemurs were able to stick around there. The Lemuriformes includes five families:

a. cheirogaleidae (dwarf lemurs)
This family includes dwarf lemurs and mouse lemurs.
Taxonomy: Four genera e.g. microcebus (mouse lemur)
Biogeography: The perimeters of Madagascar in the forests
Body size: Very small- all less than a pound
Activity pattern: All nocturnal
Locomotion: Quadrupedal, climbers
Diet: Fruit, leaves, gum, insects
Society: Usually solitary. cheirogaleidae are interesting because for primates they are very seasonal (Season=rainy season as opposed to cold season); They accumulate fat seasonally, breed seasonally, and they hibernate through dry season.

b. lemuridae (true lemurs)
Taxonomy: 2 genera- The ring-tailed lemur is genus lemur. The other genus is verecia- variegated lemur.
Biogeography: Throughout Madagascar
Body size: Larger than the dwarf lemurs; 1-4 kg
Activity pattern: Diurnal, esp. lemur catta (ring-tailed)
Locomotion: Quadrupedal, climbers
Diet: Fruit, leaves, not too many insects
Society: Group living, but mating patterns vary. They use scent for marking territory, fighting, or any other communications

c. lepilemuridae
Taxonomy: 2 genera; lepilemur and hapalemur
Biogeography: Only Madagascar
Body size: Less than 1 kg
Activity pattern: Crepuscular or nocturnal
Locomotion: Quadrupedal. lepi is a leaper, hapa is a climber
Diet: Bamboo
Society: lepi asocial, hapa forms small groups with 3-6 individuals

d. indridae (indris and sifakas)
These are the biggest leumuridae. Specialized leapers, they have long powerful hind legs, long slender front legs. In the genus indri, who did loud calls in Monday's film, the females are dominant over the males. Sifakas have a lot of white on them and tend to be diurnal.
Taxonomy: 3 genera- Indri (indris), propithicus (sifakas), and avahi (wooly indris)
Biogeography: The coasts of Madagascar
Body size: Avahi smaller than 1 kg. Indri and propithicus, 3-10 kg
Activity pattern: Diurnal, but avahi are nocturnal
Locomotion: Leapers
Diet: Folivorous. They have an appropriate morphology which includes hypertrophied salivary glands, long hindgut, huge caecum
Society: Indri and avahi monogamous, but propithicus has unusual social mating patterns.

e. daubentonidae (aye-aye)
This family is the weird one. One of the most specialized primates. They build nests of leaves. They have an elongated middle finger which is used for getting insects. At night, insects are burrowing and hiding. The aye-aye taps on wood with its finger, listens to the insects be disturbed, then uses finger to get into the crevices to get insects. They also have weird teeth; elongated incisors, like rodents, used to get at insects in the wood. You may not know this, but there are no woodpeckers in madagascar. Instead, the aye-aye has filled that niche.
Taxonomy: 1 genera 1 species
Biogeography: NE and central-NW tropical forests of madagascar
Body size: Large- 3 kg body.
Activity pattern: Nocturnal
Locomotion: Quadrupedal climbers
Diet: Mostly insects
Society: Solitary? They're not studied too much since they're so rare.

2. Lorisiformes: Family Lorisidae
Divided into two subfamilies: Lorisinae, or the Lorises (Found in Asia and Africa) and Galaginae, the galagos better known as bushbabies (Found in Africa). These will be treated separately. Lorises are very slow creepers, while galagos are jumpers and leapers. They both have a reduced second digit (index finger). Just a nub, it's almost gone.

Taxonomy: 4 genera- 2 in Asia, 2 in Africa. The genus in India is loris, or the slender loris, while the genus in far eastern Asia is nycticebus, called the slow loris. Considered a defense from predation, they move so slowly they're simply not noticed. The two African genera are arctocebus (called angwatibo) and perodicticus (called potto).
Biogeography: Loris is found in India, while nycticebus is found in far eastern Asia. The arctocebus is found in western Africa from Niger to the Congo.
Body size: Slow loris & potto are large: 1 kg. Slender loris & angwatibo are small: 250 g
Activity pattern: All are nocturnal
Locomotion: Quadrupedal
Diet: Large species eat fruits and gums while the small eat insects
Society: Solitary?

galaginae (bushbabies)
They have big ears and long fluffy tails.
Taxonomy: 1 genus
Biogeography: All in Africa
Activity pattern: Nocturnal
Locomotion: Quadrupedal, leapers
Body size: Less than 1 kg
Diet: Insects, fruits, gums
Society: Solitary with nested ranges. They also have neighborhoods.

3. Tarsiformes
The family Tarsidae, or the tarsiers. Found in SE Asia, they're anatomically similar to anthropoids.Their evolutionary affinity lies with the anthropoids; They have a complete lip, not a split lip, and their placenta is hemichorial. This means that the mother's blood supply is interlinked with the fetus', letting them transfer nutrients more efficiently. They have no reflective tapetum, and they have a globular brain instead of an elongated one like the prosimians. However, their behavior is more like the prosimians; they're nocturnal and insectivorous.
Taxonomy: 1 genus, tarsius, with 3 species: syrichta, spectrum, and bacanus.
Biogeography: Syrichta is found in the Phillipines, spectrum in Sulawesi (The Celibes), and bacanus in Borneo and Sumatra. The 3 species don't overlap.
Body size: Small- 150 grams
Activity pattern: Nocturnal
Locomotion: Vertical clingers and leapers
Diet: Insectivorous, faunivorous. They will sit listening, and then pluck insects from the air and eat them. Alternatively, they'll leap into the air, holding onto a branch with their tail, and grab insects to eat.
Society: Monogamous or solitary with nested ranges.