1. Lemurs aren’t monkeys or apes. They’re prosimians!
Lemurs are prosimians—a group of primates that also includes lorises, bushbabies and tarsiers. Most prosimians are found on the island of Madagascar, but a few also live on the mainland of Africa and Asia. Unlike other primates, such as monkeys, apes and humans, prosimians usually have large ears, a pointed snout and a long tail.
A few other characteristics set them apart, too. Prosimians rely heavily on scent for communicating with others within and outside their social groups. Because many species in this group are nocturnal, they lack the color vision of other primates. Last, but not least, prosimians typically have litters of offspring, whereas for other primate species one offspring is the norm.
How can you tell which primates are prosimians? First, look for the tail. If a primate has a tail, it’s not an ape. Second, look at how it uses its tail. Prosimians don’t have prehensile tails, so if the primate you see is swinging by its tail, then it’s not a prosimian. Third, look at the nose—is it long and protruding (like a fox) or squished (like a pig)? If the animal has a squished nose, it’s probably a member of the monkey family. On the other hand, if its nose is pointed, it’s probably a prosimian!