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Portal:Primates/Selected article/2Bubbles is a common chimpanzee, known for his association with Michael Jackson. Jackson rescued the three-year-old chimp from a cancer research clinic in Texas in 1985. Despite the pair enjoying a close relationship, many media sources mocked the friendship. The public thought of Jackson as a bizarre eccentric, obsessed with recapturing his childhood, and he was subsequently dubbed "Wacko Jacko". Bubbles sat in for the recording sessions of the Bad album and escorted Jackson for the filming of the "Bad" music video. During the Bad World Tour, he and the singer shared a two-bedroom hotel suite in Tokyo.
Bubbles initially resided at the Jackson family's Encino home, but moved to Neverland Ranch in 1988, where he slept in a crib at the corner of Jackson's bedroom. Bubbles was allowed to use Jackson's private toilet, although the chimp sometimes wore a diaper. In a 2003 documentary, Living with Michael Jackson, the singer revealed to journalist Martin Bashir that Bubbles had become overly aggressive, and had been moved to an animal sanctuary.
Hadropithecus is a medium-sized, extinct genus of lemur, or strepsirrhineprimate, from Madagascar that includes a single species, Hadropithecus stenognathus. Due to its rarity and lack of sufficient skeletal remains, it is one of the least understood of the extinct lemurs. Both it and Archaeolemur are collectively known as "monkey lemurs" or "baboon lemurs" due to body plans and dentition that suggest a terrestrial lifestyle and a diet similar to that of modern baboons. Hadropithecus had extended molars and a short, powerful jaw, suggesting that it was both a grazer and a seed predator. The monkey lemurs are considered to be most closely related to the living indriids and the recently extinct sloth lemurs. Hadropithecus lived in open habitat in the Central Plateau, South, and Southwest regions of Madagascar. It is known only from subfossil or recent remains and is considered to be a modern form of Malagasy lemur. It died out around 444–772 CE, shortly after the arrival of humans on the island.
The number of lemur species is likely to continue growing in the coming years, as field studies, cytogenetic and molecular genetic research continues. There is not complete agreement over the latest revisions to lemur taxonomy, and the debates are likely to continue. In many cases, classifications will ultimately depend upon which species concept is used. In the case of the lemurs of Madagascar, which have suffered extensively from deforestation and habitat fragmentation, nearly 25% of all species are either Endangered or Critically Endangered, most have yet to be extensively studied, and nearly all populations are in decline. For these reasons, taxonomists and conservationists favor splitting them into separate species to develop an effective strategy for the conservation of the full range of lemur diversity. Implicitly, this means that full species status will help grant genetically distinct populations added environmental protection.
Mesopropithecus is an extinct genus of small to medium-sized lemur, or strepsirrhineprimate, from Madagascar that includes three species, M. dolichobrachion, M. globiceps, and M. pithecoides. Together with Palaeopropithecus, Archaeoindris, and Babakotia, it is part of the sloth lemur family (Palaeopropithecidae). As it had the shortest forelimbs of all sloth lemurs, it is thought that Mesopropithecus was more quadrupedal and did not use suspension as much as the other sloth lemurs. They are known only from subfossil remains and died out after the arrival of humans on the island, probably due to hunting pressure and habitat destruction. Mesopropithecus was one of the smallest of the extinct subfossil lemurs, but was still slightly larger than the largest living lemurs. Although rare, the three species were widely distributed across the island yet allopatric to each other, with M. dolichobrachion in the north, M. pithecoides in the south and west, and M. globiceps in the center of the island. All three species were primarily a leaf-eaters (folivores), but also ate fruit and seeds.
Babakotia is a medium-sized, extinct genus of lemur, or strepsirrhineprimate, from Madagascar that contains a single species, Babakotia radofilai. Together with Palaeopropithecus, Archaeoindris, and Mesopropithecus, it forms the family Palaeopropithecidae, commonly known as the sloth lemurs. The name Babakotia comes from the Malagasy name for the Indri, babakoto, to which it and all other sloth lemurs are closely related. Babakotia radofilai and all other sloth lemurs share many traits with living sloths, demonstrating convergent evolution. It had long forearms, curved digits, and highly mobile hip and ankle joints. Its skull was more heavily built than that of indriids, but not as much as in the larger sloth lemurs. Its dentition is similar to that of all other indriids and sloth lemurs. It lived in the northern part of Madagascar and shared its range with at least two other sloth lemur species, Palaeopropithecus ingens and Mesopropithecus dolichobrachion. Babakotia radofilai was primarily a leaf-eater (folivore), though it also ate fruit and hard seeds. It is known only from subfossil remains and may have died out prior to the arrival of humans on the island, but not enough radiocarbon dating has been done with this species to know for certain.
Lemurs are an infraorder of strepsirrhineprimates that is endemic to the island of Madagascar. Although lemurs often are confused with ancestral primates, the anthropoid primates (monkeys, apes, and humans) did not evolve from them; instead, lemurs merely share morphological and behavioral traits with basal primates. Lemurs arrived in Madagascar approximately 62 to 65 mya by rafting on mats of vegetation at a time when ocean currents favored oceanic dispersal to the island. Since that time, lemurs have evolved to cope with an extremely seasonal environment and their adaptations give them a level of diversity that rivals that of all other primate groups. Until shortly after humans arrived on the island approximately 2,000 years ago, there were lemurs as large as a male gorilla. These subfossil lemurs were all larger than species living currently. Today, there are nearly 100 species of lemurs, and most of those species were discovered or promoted to full species status since the 1990s; however, lemur taxonomic classification is controversial and depends on which species concept is used. Living lemurs range in size from 30 g (1.1 oz) to 9 kg (20 lb). Lemurs share many common, basal primate traits, such as divergent digits on their hands and feet and nails instead of claws (in most species). However, their brain-to-body size ratio is smaller than that of anthropoid primates, and among many other traits they share with other strepsirrhine primates, they have a "wet nose" (rhinarium).
The evolutionary history of lemurs occurred in isolation from other primates on the island of Madagascar for at least 40 million years. Lemurs are prosimian primates belonging to the suborder Strepsirrhini, which branched off from other primates less than 63 mya (million years ago). They share some traits with the most basal primates, and thus are often confused as being ancestral to modern monkeys, apes, and humans. Instead, they merely resemble ancestral primates. Lemurs are thought to have evolved during the Eocene or earlier, sharing a closest common ancestor with lorisiforms. Fossils from Africa and tests of nuclear DNA suggest that lemurs made their way to Madagascar between 40 and 52 mya. Molecular tests offer an alternative date range of 62 to 65 mya. An ancestral lemur population is thought to have inadvertently rafted to the island on a floating mat of vegetation, although hypotheses for land bridges and island hopping have also been proposed. The timing and number of hypothesized colonizations has traditionally hinged on the phylogenetic affinities of the Aye-aye, the most basal member of the lemur clade.
Having undergone their own independent evolution on Madagascar, lemurs have diversified to fill many niches normally filled by other types of mammals. They include the smallest primates in the world, and once included some of the largest. Since the arrival of humans approximately 2,000 years ago, they are now restricted to 10% of the island, or approximately 60,000 square kilometres (23,000 sq mi), and many are facing extinction. For this reason, researchers have been trying to identify and assess every species. Over the last 10 to 20 years, there has been a steep increase in the number of recognized lemur species and subspecies, both through the discovery of new species and the elevation of existing subspecies to full species status. Currently there are approximately 100 or more recognized species or subspecies of living lemur, which are divided into five families and 15 genera. If the extinct subfossil lemurs are included, an additional three families, eight genera, and 17 species would be included. The recent rise in species numbers is due to both improved genetic analysis and a push in conservation to encourage the protection of isolated and distinct lemur populations. Not everyone in the scientific community supports these taxonomic changes, preferring instead an estimate of 50 living species.
Portal:Primates/Selected article/9Lemurs of Madagascar, currently in its third edition, is a reference work and field guide for the lemurs of Madagascar, giving descriptions and biogeographic data for the known species. The primary contributor is Russell Mittermeier, president of Conservation International, and the cover art and illustrations were drawn by Stephen D. Nash. The book provides details about all known lemur species, general information about lemurs and their history, and also helps travelers identify species they may encounter. Four related pocket field guides have also been released, containing color illustrations of each species, miniature range maps, and species checklists.
The first edition was reviewed favorably in the International Journal of Primatology, Conservation Biology, and Lemur News. Reviewers, including Alison Jolly, praised the book for its meticulous coverage of each species, numerous high-quality illustrations, and engaging discussion of lemur topics, including conservation, evolution, and the recently extinct subfossil lemurs. Each agreed that the book was an excellent resource for a wide audience, including ecotourists and lemur researchers. A lengthy review of the second edition was published in the American Journal of Primatology, where it received similar favorable comments, plus praise for its updates and enhancements. The third edition was reviewed favorably in Lemur News; the reviewer praised the expanded content of the book, but was concerned that the edition was not as portable as its predecessors.
The first edition identified 50 lemur species and subspecies, compared to 71 in the second edition and 101 in the third. The taxonomy promoted by these books has been questioned by researchers, such as Ian Tattersall, who view these growing numbers of lemur species as insufficiently justified inflation of species numbers (taxonomic inflation).
Subfossil lemurs are lemurs from Madagascar that are represented by recent (subfossil) remains dating from the late Pleistocene to approximately 560 years ago. They include both living and extinct species, although the term more frequently refers to the extinct giant lemurs. The diversity of subfossil lemur communities was higher than that of present-day lemur communities, ranging as high as 20 or more species per location, compared to 10 to 12 species today. Extinct species ranged in size from slightly over 10 kg (22 lb) to roughly 200 kg (440 lb). Even the subfossil remains of living species are larger and more robust than modern specimens. The subfossil sites found around most of the island demonstrate that most giant lemurs had wide distributions and that ranges of living species have contracted significantly since the arrival of humans.
Despite their size, the giant lemurs shared many features with living lemurs, including rapid development, poor day vision, relatively small brains, and lack of male dominance. They also had many distinct traits among lemurs, including a tendency to rely on terrestrial locomotion, slow climbing, and suspension instead of leaping, as well as a greater dependence on leaf-eating and seed predation. The giant lemurs likely filled ecological niches now left vacant, particularly seed dispersal for plants with large seeds. There were three distinct families of giant lemur, including the Palaeopropithecidae (sloth lemurs), Megaladapidae (koala lemurs), and Archaeolemuridae (monkey lemurs). Two other types were more closely related and similar in appearance to living lemurs: the giant aye-aye and Pachylemur, a genus of "giant ruffed lemurs". Subfossil remains were first discovered on Madagascar in the 1860s, but giant lemur species were not formally described until the 1890s. The paleontological interest sparked by the initial discoveries resulted in an overabundance of new species names, the allocation of bones to the wrong species, and inaccurate reconstructions during the early 1900s. Discoveries waned during the mid-1900s, although paleontological work resumed in the 1980s and resulted in the discovery of new species and a new genus. The remains of the subfossil lemurs are relatively recent, with all or most species dating within the last 2,000 years. Humans first arrived on Madagascar around that time and likely played a role in the demise of the lemurs and the other megafauna that once existed on the large island. Although hunting and habitat change have been explored as the primary cause of their extinction, a mosaic of complex interactions between multiple factors is now seen as the ultimate cause of their disappearance. Yet oral traditions and recent sightings by Malagasy villagers are still reported, suggesting either lingering populations or very recent extinctions.
Saadanius is a genus of fossil primate dating to the Oligocene that is closely related to the common ancestor of the Old World monkeys and apes, collectively known as catarrhines. It is represented by a single species, Saadanius hijazensis, which is known only from a single partial skull tentatively dated between 29 and 28 mya (million years ago). It was discovered in 2009 in western Saudi Arabia near Mecca and was first described in 2010 after a comparison with both living and fossil catarrhines. Saadanius had a longer face than living catarrhines and lacked the advanced frontal sinus (airspaces in the facial bones) found in living catarrhines. However, it had a bony ear tube (ectotympanic) and teeth comparable to those of living catarrhines. The discovery of Saadanius may help answer questions about the appearance of the last common ancestors of Old World monkeys and apes and help date the evolutionary split between these two primate groups.
Slow lorises have been a part of the traditional beliefs of Southeast Asia for at least several hundred years. Their remains are buried under houses and roads to bring good luck, and every part of their body is used in traditional medicine to make everything from love potions to unproven cures for cancer, leprosy, epilepsy, and sexually transmitted diseases. Furthermore, a large number of slow lorises are traded as pets, both locally and internationally. Although it is illegal to import slow lorises for commercial sale, they are popular pets in Japan, the United States, and Europe, largely due to their "cute" appearance, which has been popularized in highly viewed YouTube videos. Captive lorises experience improper care and die from poor nutrition, stress, or infection. Despite this, demand has risen, and slow lorises are no longer captured opportunistically, but are now hunted on a commercial scale using flashlights, from which the animals do not flee.
Connected protected areas are important for the conservation of slow lorises because these primates are not suited for traveling long distances on the ground. Training for enforcement officials helps improve identification and the awareness of their legal protection. Sanctuaries and rescue facilities are available to provide both temporary and lifelong care for confiscated slow lorises. Zoo populations of some species have not bred much recently and are growing too old to reproduce, although the pygmy slow loris is doing well at some facilities, such as the San Diego Zoo.
Like other living ("crown") strepsirrhines, these nocturnal primates have a reflective layer in their eye called the tapetum lucidum, which enhances their night vision. They also have a rhinarium or "wet nose", which is a touch-based sense organ. Because of their close relation to lemurs and other lorisiforms, they also possess a toothcomb, which is used in personal and social grooming, as well as feeding. Like nearly all prosimian ("pre-monkey") primates, they have a toilet-claw, which is also used in grooming. Slow lorises have a round head, narrow snout, large eyes, and distinctive coloration patterns. Their arms and legs are nearly equal in length, and their trunk is long, allowing them to twist and extend to nearby branches. The hands and feet of slow lorises have several adaptations that give them a pincer-like grip and enable them to grasp branches for long periods of time. Slow lorises and possibly some of their closest relatives have a toxic bite—a rare trait among mammals. Little is known about their social structure, but they are known to communicate by scent-marking. Males are highly territorial. Slow lorises reproduce slowly, and the infants are initially parked on branches or carried by either parent. They are omnivores, eating small animals, fruit, tree gum, and other vegetation.
Portal:Primates/Selected article/17 The false potto (Pseudopotto martini) is a lorisiform primate of uncertain taxonomic status found in Africa. Anthropologist Jeffrey H. Schwartz named it in 1996 as the only species of the genus Pseudopotto on the basis of two specimens (consisting only of skeletal material) that had previously been identified as pottos (Perodicticus potto). The precise provenances of the two specimens are uncertain, but at least one may have come from Cameroon. Schwartz thought the false potto could even represent a separate family, but other researchers have argued that the supposed distinguishing features of the animal do not actually distinguish it from the potto; specifically, the false potto shares several features with West African pottos.
The false potto generally resembles a small potto, but according to Schwartz it differs in having a longer tail, shorter spines on its neck and chest vertebrae, a smaller, less complex spine on the second neck vertebra, an entepicondylar foramen (an opening in the humerus, or upper arm bone), a lacrimal fossa (a depression in the skull) that is located inside the eye socket, a smaller upper third premolar and molar, and higher-crowned cheekteeth, among other traits. However, many of these traits are variable among pottos; for example, one researcher found entepicondylar foramina in almost half of the specimens in his sample of pottos.
Pachylemur is an extinct, giant lemur most closely related to the ruffed lemurs of genusVarecia. Two species are known, Pachylemur insignis and Pachylemur jullyi, although there is some doubt as to whether or not they may actually be the same species. Pachylemur is sometimes referred to as the giant ruffed lemur, because although it and the living ruffed lemurs had similar teeth and skeletons, Pachylemur was more robust and as much as three to four times larger. DNA studies have confirmed a sister group relationship between these two types of lemur. Like living ruffed lemurs, Pachylemur specialized in eating fruit, and was therefore an important seed disperser, possibly for tree species with seeds too large for even ruffed lemurs to swallow. In the spiny thickets of southwestern Madagascar, they were also likely to have dispersed seeds evolved to attach to fur and be carried away. Unlike ruffed lemurs, the fore- and hindlimbs of Pachylemur were nearly the same length, and therefore it was likely to be a slow, deliberate climber. However, both used hindlimb suspension to reach fruit on small branches below them.
Like other lemurs, Pachylemur was only found on the island of Madagascar, and its subfossil remains have been found primarily at sites in the central and southwestern parts of the island. Fragmentary and indeterminate remains have also been found in northern Madagascar. Pachylemur once lived in diverse lemur communities within its range, but in many of these locations, 20% or fewer of the original lemur species remain. Pachylemur went into decline following the arrival of humans in Madagascar around 350 BCE. Habitat loss, forest fragmentation, and bushmeat hunting are thought to have been the reasons for its disappearance. Pachylemur is thought to have gone extinct between 680–960 CE, although subfossil remains found in a cave pit in southwestern Madagascar may indicate that it survived up until 500 years ago.
The sublingua ("under-tongue") is a muscular secondary tongue found below the primary tongue in tarsiers and living strepsirrhineprimates, which includes lemurs and lorisoids (collectively called "lemuriforms"). Although it is most fully developed in these primates, similar structures can be found in some other mammals, such as marsupials, treeshrews, and colugos. This "second tongue" lacks taste buds, and in lemuriforms, it is thought to be used to remove hair and other debris from the toothcomb, a specialized dental structure used to comb the fur during oral grooming. Tarsiers have a large but highly generalized sublingua, but their closest living relatives, monkeys and apes, lack one.
The sublingua is thought to have evolved from specialized folds of tissue below the tongue, which can be seen in some marsupials and other primitive mammals. Simians do not have a sublingua, but the fimbria linguae found on the underside of ape tongues may be a vestigial version of the sublingua.
A toothcomb (tooth comb, dental comb) is a dental structure most commonly known in lemurs and lorisoids), although similar dental structures can be found in other mammals, such as colugos, treeshrews, and some African antelope. Toothcombs vary in dental composition and structure. The toothcomb of lemuriform primates include incisors and canine teeth that tilt forward at the front of the lower jaw, followed by a canine-shaped first premolar. The toothcombs in other animals usually include incisors only. The comb is formed by fine spaces between the teeth. The toothcomb is kept clean by either the tongue or, in the case of lemuriforms, the sublingua, or specialized "under-tongue".
The toothcomb is usually used for grooming. While licking the fur clean, the animal will run the tooth through the fur to comb it. The toothcomb can have other functions, such as food procurement and bark gouging. Within lemuriforms, fork-marked lemurs and indriids have more robust toothcombs to support these secondary functions. In some lemurs, such as the aye-aye, the toothcomb has been lost completely and replaced with another specialized dentition. In lemuriform primates, the toothcomb has factored heavily in the interpretation of the evolution of lemurs and their kin.
Orangutans are the two exclusively Asianspecies of extantgreat apes. Native to Indonesia and Malaysia, orangutans are currently found only in the rainforests of Borneo and Sumatra. Classified in the genusPongo, orangutans were considered to be one species. However, since 1996, they were divided into two species: the Bornean orangutan (P. pygmaeus) and the Sumatran orangutan (P. abelii). In addition, the Bornean species is divided into three subspecies. The orangutans are also the only surviving species of the subfamily Ponginae. Both species had their genomes sequenced and they appear to have diverged around 400,000 years ago. Orangutans diverged from the rest of the great apes approximately 15.7 to 19.3 mya (million years ago).
Orangutans are the most arboreal great apes and spend most of their time in trees. Their hair is typically reddish-brown, instead of the brown or black hair typical of chimpanzees and gorillas. Males and females differ in size and appearance. Dominant adult males have distinctive cheek pads and produce long calls that attract females and intimidate rivals. Younger males do not have these characteristics and resemble adult females. Orangutans are the most solitary of the great apes, with social bonds occurring primarily between mothers and their dependent offspring, who stay together for the first two years. Fruit is the most important component of an orangutan's diet, however, the apes will also eat vegetation, bark, honey, insects and even bird eggs. They can live over 30 years. Orangutans are among the most intelligent primates and use a variety of sophisticated tools, also constructing elaborate sleeping nests each night from branches and foliage. Both orangutan species are considered to be Endangered with the Sumatran orangutan being Critically Endangered. Threats to wild orangutan populations include poaching, habitat destruction and the illegal pet trade.
Its remains have been found at only one location: Ampasambazimba, a subfossil site in central Madagascar. The skeleton of Archaeoindris was massive and robust, and shared many traits with that of Palaeopropithecus. The arms were longer than the legs, but no hand or foot bones have been found for comparison with the other sloth lemurs. Size estimates based on the limited remains have varied widely, ranging as high as 244.1 kg (538 lb), but the most thorough statistical investigation estimates a mass of 160 kg (350 lb). There are varying opinions about the way Archaeoindris moved in its environment, ranging from tree-dwelling to ground-dwelling. Its skeleton suggests it was a deliberate climber that visited the ground to travel. The diet of Archaeoindris was mostly leaves, and its habitat—prior to human arrival—was a mix of woodlands, bushlands, and savanna, rich in lemur diversity. Although it was a rare lemur, it was still extant when humans first arrived on Madagascar, and it would have been vulnerable to hunting and habitat loss.
Portal:Primates/Selected article/23 The false potto (Pseudopotto martini) is a lorisiform primate of uncertain taxonomic status found in Africa. Anthropologist Jeffrey H. Schwartz named it in 1996 as the only species of the genus Pseudopotto. Schwartz thought the false potto could even represent a separate family, but other researchers have argued that the supposed distinguishing features of the animal do not actually distinguish it from the potto; specifically, the false potto shares several features with West African pottos. The false potto generally resembles a small potto, but according to Schwartz it differs in having a longer tail, shorter spines on its neck and chest vertebrae, and other traits. However, many of these traits are variable among pottos.
Strepsirrhini or Strepsirhini is one of the two suborders of primates. Strepsirrhines include the lemuriform primates, which consist of the lemurs of Madagascar, galagos ("bushbabies") (pictured) and pottos from Africa, and the lorises from India and southeast Asia. The suborder also includes the extinct adapiform primates, a diverse and widespread group that thrived during the Eocene (56 to 34 million years ago—mya) in Europe, North America, and Asia, but disappeared from most of the Northern Hemisphere as the climate cooled. Adapiforms are sometimes referred to as being "lemur-like", although the diversity of both lemurs and adapiforms do not support this comparison. The suborder represents a phylogeneticclade, or related group, and replaced the widely used suborder Prosimii, which included strepsirrhines and tarsiers, but represented an evolutionary grade based on shared anatomical traits. The term "prosimian" is considered obsolete taxonomically, though still useful in highlighting similarities between strepsirrhines and tarsiers.
Indraloris is known from isolated teeth and fragmentary lower jaws. Indraloris may have been arboreal and at least partly frugivorous. When the first Indraloris fossils were discovered in the early 1930s, one was misidentified as a carnivoran and the other as a loris. The carnivoran identification was corrected in 1968, and in 1979 Indraloris and the related Sivaladapis were identified as late survivors of Adapiformes, an archaic primate group.
Fork-marked lemurs or fork-crowned lemurs are nocturnalstrepsirrhine primates, with four species comprising the genus Phaner. Like all other lemurs, they are native to Madagascar. They are named for the two black stripes which run up from their eyes, converge on the top of their head, and run down the back as a single black stripe. Only one species (Phaner furcifer) was recognized until three new subspecies—described in 1991—were promoted to species status in 2001. New species may yet be identified, particularly in northeast Madagascar.
Fork-marked lemurs are among the least studied of all lemurs and are some of the largest members of the family Cheirogaleidae, weighing around 350 grams (0.77 lb) or more. Aside from their dorsal forked stripe, they have dark rings around their eyes, and large membranous ears. Males have a scent gland on their throat, but only use it during social grooming, not for marking territory. Instead, they are very vocal, making repeated calls at the beginning and end of the night. Males usually pair up with females to form monogamous pairs, and females are dominant. They sleep in tree holes and nests. Females are thought to have only one offspring every two years or more.
Giant mouse lemurs are about three times larger than mouse lemurs, weighing approximately 300 g (11 oz), and have a long, bushy tail. They are most closely related to mouse lemurs within Cheirogaleidae, a family of small, noctural lemurs. Giant mouse lemurs sleep in nests during the day and forage alone at night for fruit, tree gum, insects, and small vertebrates. Home ranges often overlap, with related females living closely together while males disperse. Giant mouse lemurs are vocal, although they also scent mark using saliva, urine, and secretions from the anogenital scent gland.
Predators of giant mouse lemurs include the Madagascar buzzard, Madagascar owl, fossa, and the narrow-striped mongoose. Giant mouse lemurs reproduce once a year, with two offspring born after a 90-day gestation. Babies are initially left in the nest while the mother forages, but are later carried by mouth and parked in vegetation while she forages nearby. In captivity, giant mouse lemurs will breed year-round. Their lifespan in the wild is thought to be five to six years. Both species are listed as endangered due to habitat destruction and hunting.
Chimpanzees are members of the Hominidae family, along with gorillas, humans, and orangutans. Chimpanzees split from human evolution about 6 million years ago and thus the two chimpanzee species are the closest living relatives to humans, all being members of the Hominini tribe (along with extinct species of Hominina subtribe). Chimpanzees are the only known members of the Panina subtribe. The two Pan species split only about one million years ago.
The Neanderthal is an extinct member of the Homo genus that is known from Pleistocenespecimens found in Europe and parts of western and central Asia. Neanderthals are either classified as a subspecies of humans (Homo sapiens neanderthalensis) or as a separate species (Homo neanderthalensis). The first proto-Neanderthal traits appeared in Europe as early as 600,000–350,000 years ago. Proto-Neanderthal traits are occasionally grouped to another phenetic 'species', Homo heidelbergensis, or a migrant form, Homo rhodesiensis. By 130,000 years ago, complete Neanderthal characteristics had appeared. These characteristics then disappeared in Asia by 50,000 years ago and in Europe by 30,000 years ago. The youngest Neanderthal finds include Hyaena Den (UK), considered older than 30,000 years ago, while the Vindija (Croatia) Neanderthals have been re-dated to between 32,000 and 33,000 years ago. No definite specimens younger than 30,000 years ago have been found; however, evidence of fire by Neanderthals at Gibraltar indicate that they may have survived there until 24,000 years ago. Modern human skeletal remains with 'Neanderthal traits' were found in Lagar Velho (Portugal), dated to 24,500 years ago and controversially interpreted as indications of extensively admixed populations.
Like most higher primates, humans are social by nature. However, humans are uniquely adept at utilizing systems of communication for self-expression, the exchange of ideas, and organization. Humans create complex social structures composed of many cooperating and competing groups, from families to nations. Social interactions between humans have established an extremely wide variety of values, social norms, and rituals, which together form the basis of human society. Humans have a marked appreciation for beauty and aesthetics which, combined with the human desire for self-expression, has led to cultural innovations such as art, literature and music. Humans are noted for their desire to understand and influence their environment, seeking to explain and manipulate natural phenomena through science, philosophy, mythology and religion. This natural curiosity has led to the development of advanced tools and skills, which are passed down culturally; humans are the only extant species known to build fires, cook their food, clothe themselves, and use numerous other technologies.