Monday, May 4, 2009
Triplets at Duke Lemur Center
Just minutes old in this picture, three new Red-ruffed lemurs take in the sights at the Duke Lemur Center. Lemurs occur naturally only in Madagascar, which is an island off the coast of Africa. This island has been surrounded by deep ocean water for millions of years, making it a fantastic scientific lab for how life adapts to circumstance and change.
The folks at the Duke Lemur Center do three things: study these unique animals that came from Madagascar (and a number of other prosimian primates from Africa and Asia), teach others what they learn about lemurs and how to learn more about these fascinating animals and their habitat, and work with the Malagasy people and other interested groups to protect lemurs and their habitat. Part of this involves serving as a genetic safety net for the lemurs in Madagascar.
So if Pyxis, the Red-ruffed lemur above, looks proud, it's justified. She doesn't know it, but she is part of a well-planned breeding program designed to help secure the lemur's future. Her triplets help. And both mom and infants are doing well.