Subfossil lemur

Subfossil lemurs are primates from Madagascar, especially the extinct giant lemurs, represented by subfossils (partially fossilized remains) dating from nearly 26,000 to around 560 years ago. Almost all of these species, including the sloth lemurs, koala lemurs and monkey lemurs, were living around 2,000 years ago, when humans first arrived on the island. The extinct species are estimated to have ranged in size from slightly over 10 kg (22 lb) to roughly 160 kg (350 lb). The subfossil sites found around most of the island demonstrate that most giant lemurs had wide distributions. Like living lemurs, they had poor day vision and relatively small brains, and developed rapidly, but they relied less on leaping, and more on terrestrial locomotion, slow climbing, and suspension. Although no recent remains of giant lemurs have been found, oral traditions and reported recent sightings by Malagasy villagers suggest that there may be lingering populations or very recent extinctions.

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