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Lemurs have relatively low basal metabolic rates and may exhibit seasonal breeding, dormancy (such as hibernation or torpor), or female social dominance.Most eat a wide variety of fruits and leaves, while some are specialists.

Lemurs have relatively low basal metabolic rates and may exhibit seasonal breeding, dormancy (such as hibernation or torpor), or female social dominance.Most eat a wide variety of fruits and leaves, while some are specialists.

-mər) are a clade of strepsirrhine primates endemic to the island of Madagascar.

The word lemur derives from the word lemures (ghosts or spirits) from Roman mythology and was first used to describe a slender loris due to its nocturnal habits and slow pace, but was later applied to the primates on Madagascar.

As the continental plates drifted northward, the currents gradually changed, and by 20 mya the window for oceanic dispersal had closed, effectively isolating the lemurs and the rest of the terrestrial Malagasy fauna from mainland Africa.

They were also spared from having to compete with monkeys, which evolved later.

Research facilities like the Duke Lemur Center have provided research opportunities under more controlled settings.

Lemurs are important for research because their mix of ancestral characteristics and traits shared with anthropoid primates can yield insights on primate and human evolution.

These traits can include seasonal fat storage, hypometabolism (including torpor and hibernation), small group sizes, low encephalization (relative brain size), cathemerality (activity both day and night), and strict breeding seasons.

Extreme resource limitations and seasonal breeding are also thought to have given rise to three other relatively common lemur traits: female social dominance, sexual monomorphism, and male–male competition for mates involving low levels of agonism, such as sperm competition.

Lemurs are generally the most social of the strepsirrhine primates and communicate more with scents and vocalizations than with visual signals.

Many lemur adaptations are in response to Madagascar's highly seasonal environment.

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