- any of various small, arboreal, chiefly nocturnal mammals of the family Lemuridae, of Madagascar and the Comoro Islands, especially of the genus Lemur, usually having large eyes, a foxlike face, and woolly fur: most lemurs are endangered.
Origin of lemur
Examples from the Web for lemur
Excepting the head and this finger, he closely resembles a Lemur.
The skull is more like that of the Anthropoidea than is the skull of any other Lemur.The Cambridge Natural History, Vol X., Mammalia
Frank Evers Beddard
The lemur is nocturnal in its habits and noiseless in its movements.Natural History in Anecdote
In short, the lemur has a hand on each of its four limbs, and no feet at all.Concerning Animals and Other Matters
E.H. Aitken, (AKA Edward Hamilton)
Aye-aye (ī-ī; Cheirŏmys madagascariensis), an animal of Madagascar, so called from its cry; now referred to the lemur family.
- any Madagascan prosimian primate of the family Lemuridae, such as Lemur catta (the ring-tailed lemur). They are typically arboreal, having foxy faces and long tails
- any similar or closely related animal, such as a loris or indris
Word Origin and History for lemur
nocturnal Madagascar mammal, 1795, coined by Linnaeus, from Latin lemures (plural) "spirits of the dead" in Roman mythology.
The oldest usage of "lemur" for a primate that we are aware of is in Linnaeus's catalog of the Museum of King Adolf Frederick of Sweden (Tattersall, 1982); .... In this work, he explained his use of the name "lemur" thus: "Lemures dixi hos, quod noctu imprimis obambulant, hominibus quodanmodo similes, & lento passu vagantur [I call them lemurs, because they go around mainly by night, in a certain way similar to humans, and roam with a slow pace]" [Dunkel, Alexander R., et al., "Giant rabbits, marmosets, and British comedies: etymology of lemur names, part 1," in "Lemur News," vol. 16, 2011-2012, p.65]
Lemuria (1864) was the name given by English zoologist P.L. Sclater (1829-1913) to a hypothetical ancient continent connecting Africa and Southeastern Asia (and including Madagascar), which was hypothesized to explain phenomena now accounted for by continental drift. Earlier it was the name of the Roman feast of the Lemures.