Today, March 3rd, is World Wildlife Day. Every year there is a theme that brings attention to something that is threatening species all over the world. This year’s theme is #seriousaboutwildlifecrime. Wildlife crime includes things like the illegal poaching of animals or animal parts on the black market. This be anything from an elephant tusk sold for jewelry to an infant chimpanzee sold as a pet. Continue reading World Wildlife Day 2015: How Great Apes Change the World
It is high time we moved on to New World Monkeys. All of the primates discussed from now on are going to be found in South America, starting with the family pitheciidae. Pitheciids include titi monkeys, saki monkeys, and uakaris. They are a pretty strange looking bunch, with the red-headed uakari being a personal favorite of mine. Continue reading Pitheciidae
I had an interesting encounter with a member of the galagidae family during my time in Sierra Leone, although at the time I didn’t know that’s what I was hearing. I woke up in the middle of the night in my tent in an absolute panic as I was fairly certain I was hearing a woman being murdered. I didn’t know what to do, so I told myself it was a very upset goat and went back to sleep. In the morning I learned that I was listening to the majestic call of the bush baby, or galago, or the only member of the galagidae family. Continue reading Galagidae
Well, I personally think daubentoniidae this is the most difficult family to memorize, and I don’t quite know why. This family is really unique and contains only one species: the Aye-Aye. These weird little lemurs are the only species left of the daubentoniids after the other went extinct about 1,000 years ago. Continue reading Daubentoniidae
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.
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.
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!
The Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park is one of the largest national parks in the world and one of the few national parks that actually covers multiple countries. This was in hopes to create a protected migration path for a variety of the species found in this park. So lets learn a little bit more about this amazing park.