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In general, any of the prosimian primates (including galagos), all of which have a naked, moist tip to their muzzle; comblike, forward-directed lower front teeth; and clawlike nails on the second toes of the feet. More strictly, the name refers to the typical lemurs (the nine species in the family Lemuridae), found only on Madagascar and the Comoro Islands, which have large eyes; a foxlike face; a slender, monkeylike body; and long hind limbs. All lemurs are docile and gregarious. Species range from 5 in. (13 cm) to about 2 ft (60 cm) long. The bushy tail may be longer than the body, and the woolly fur is reddish, gray, brown, or black. Most are active at night and spend most of their time in trees, eating fruits, leaves, buds, insects, and small birds and birds' eggs. A number of species are listed as endangered.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on lemur, visit Britannica.com.