There is plenty we don’t know about the evolution of the Lemur. However, we do have some basic information that has come to light. For example it is believed that they went to Madagascar 40-50 million years ago. This is why so all of the Lemurs are now found on that island and not on all the continent.
Experts believe that these Lemurs were able to go to the island on rafts that consisted of leaves and pieces of wood. This may seem hard to believe but they are highly intelligent primates.
It is believed that the Lemurs were able to become nocturnal in an effort to be able to avoid other primates that were more advanced than them and that were out during the day.
Lemurs didn’t have any predators on Madagascar Island and that is part of what helped them to evolve and to thrive there. However, they have long been at risk due to the threats of humans.
We aren’t sure though how the linage for the Lemur and other primates connects. There are many theories but we just don’t have the right information to say what is fact. It can be interesting though to explore the different thoughts on the idea.
Many experts believe that the isolation that the Lemur had from the rest of primates is what led to their differences. They began to break of into different segments too when humans arrived at the Madagascar Islands. This accounts for the further break down and division of the evolution process and thus the arrival of many species.
Many experts believe that numerous species of Lemurs have already become extinct in the millions of years that past. Some of the fossil remains are believed to be Lemurs and they weight up to 350 pounds. This would be very similar to the size of an adult gorilla today.
Experts believe the reduction in size may have been due to the fact that they could live in the trees. Being on the ground may have been too much of a danger for them. Limited food supplies could also have accounted for them getting smaller. This type of evolution change would have allowed them to thrive with less food available.
It is believed that the Lemur is the most diverse of all primate groups. They have been able to successful adapt to changes in their environment. In fact, the main reason they are endangered (most of them) is due to human actions and not their inability to survive in their natural environment.
Many experts hope that through additional studies of the Lemur though they will find ways to be able to help all endangered types of primates to be able to thrive once again. Today the changes in the environment though occur just too fast and that doesn’t allow for the Lemur to evolve fast enough to adapt.
So how do Lemurs relate to humans since we are so genetically linked to primates? Experts are hopeful that more information will come to light including more fossil remains. Then they can identify even more of the Lemur evolution with some certainty.
One of the big controversies that remains with Lemur evolution has to do with what was named Ida the Lemur. These fossil remains were widely publicized as being those of a Lemur. However, such information was released before the remains were thoroughly examined by experts.
There are some that feel they are definitely the remains of early Lemurs. Others though aren’t convinced. There are too many unanswered questions to say with all certainty. Still, there is hope that one day enough light will be shed on the question to give us the answer we seek about it.