Primates in the family Indriidae are also found on the island of Madagascar, but these primates are a bit different from the lemurs we have been talking about so far. The species included in the family indriidae are indris, sifakas, and woolly lemurs. Although I said they were different they still share several commonalities like the fact that indriids are not monkeys, but also lemurs, they are also strepsirrhines who have wet noses, and are diurnal.
Lemuridae is another large family of primates, just like cercopithecidae, as it includes most species of lemur. I mentioned in my last primate families post that all lemurs are found on the island of Madagascar, but something that differs from the cheirogaleidae is that lemurids are diurnal. Diurnal means that they spend most of their time awake during the daylight hours.
We have finally arrived at the smallest primates in the world. The members of the cheriogalidae family include mouse and dwarf lemurs. Now, all lemurs are found on the island of Madagascar, which is off the eastern coast of Africa. Cheriogalids are both nocturnal and live their entire lives in the trees.
The tarsiers of the tarsiidae family are small primates with enormous eyes. Those enormous eyes help them to see in the dark, which is particularly useful when you are a nocturnal primate. These are such odd looking animals with their tiny bodies, only about 15 cm in length and their long, bald, tails, which are about 25 cm in length.
I have the extreme pleasure that I get to learn all about the lorisidae family by a well-known expert on one of the species in the family. Species within the lorisidae family include lorises, pottos and angwantibos. These primates are a little different than the families I have been talking about recently. I was mostly discussing catarrhines and now we have officially moved on to strepsirrhines. Remember what I said about catarrhines, strepsirrhines, and platyrrhines? No? That’s okay! They are words that refer to different groups of primates, mostly based on their noses, of all things! Strepsirrhines, like those species found in lorisidae have wet noses, like your dog or cat at home, rather than dry noses like we have.
If I had to pick a favorite family of primates it would hands-down be pongidae. This family is going to include all of the great apes, except humans, because we like to think we are special when in reality we really just aren’t. Pongidae are true great apes. These primate have no tails, no claws (just nails), flat noses, and incredible amounts of tool use.
Wow! Cercopithecidae a HUGE primate family! It includes almost all Old World Monkeys. If you need a refresher on what “Old World” means, it means that these monkeys are basically from anywhere that is not South America. Now I did oscillate between splitting this into it’s subfamilies, as some people recognize them as different families, but in the end I decided to put colobinae under cercopithecidae.
Alright!! As many readers may know I am currently working towards my masters in primate conservation, what many of you may not know is that tomorrow I have an exam where I have to memorize all of the taxonomic families of primates. I am also not great at studying, which you can probably tell by the simple fact I am writing this when I have an exam tomorrow. But I was thinking, you know what? I learn and retain a LOT when I write species specific blog posts. I tend to have to do a decent amount of research and always double check my facts before posting, and because I love writing to all of you so much, it’s really quite fun! So, I will write up a blog post for every family of primates. They will not all be posted tonight because that would be a bit overwhelming for everyone involved, but we are embarking on a journey! Let us begin!
One of the few animals I saw on a regular basis while in Sierra Leone was the Great Blue Turaco. The first time I was told by Papanie that the giant blue bird that flew overhead was a turaco I was shocked. The turaco I had worked with in Dallas had barely been half that size! But the more I saw them the more resemblance I saw to Marty, my Dallas-dwelling turaco. So in honor of the Great Blue Turaco and the amazing wildlife of Sierra Leone, lets have them be the next focus for an Odd Animal Profile.
Corythaeola cristata. I don’t normally include the scientific names in my O.A.P.s but Corythaeola crostata rolls off of the tongue with such grace. It is a name that couldn’t belong to any other animal than this giant, blue bird. Continue reading OAP: Great Blue Turaco
It’s been a while but it is time for another Odd Animal Profile! If you haven’t been around on the site long check out some of our other OAP’s like the oh so popular okapi or maybe you’re in the mood to learn about the sunda flying lemur? Oh I do love animals called “flying” that can’t actually fly! Why don’t they just call this amphibian the gliding frog? Or the frog that can jump extremely long distances? Well, I guess it’s because it’s quite a mouthful, so flying frog it is!