Primate Characteristics

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There are many different types of primates, and they have similar traits that are stemming from their shared ancestor. Lemur catta, more commonly known as the ring-tailed lemurs, are a species of primate. Ring-tailed lemurs are from Madagascar, an island off the southern tip of Africa and are not located anywhere else in the world (Lang, 2005, para. 4). The climate where they live is seasonal, so they experience periods of rain, cold, and heat, which has affected their behavior and eating habits. Ring-tailed lemurs’ diet mainly consists of fruits and insects. During colder months, they sit upright to bath in the warmth of the sun (Lang, 2005). Besides these traits, ring-tailed lemurs have several distinct characteristics that make them a primate, and some of their traits and behaviors have been adapted to suit their environment and aid in their survival.
To be considered a primate, ring-tailed lemurs must exhibit certain general traits that distinguish them from other non-primate species. Like almost all primates, ring-tailed lemurs have two eyes that face forward and the ability to sit and stand upright. They move in their environment mainly through walking on the ground with both their hands and feet, but they also climb trees to sleep or
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59). Like their feet, ring-tailed lemurs teeth are specialized so that they can groom themselves, (Lang, 2005, para.1) which allows ring-tailed lemurs to eat insects as a source of food or remove insects that may be causing them pain or disturbance. Due to their environment and social behavior, ring-tailed lemurs have a dental comb that allows them to eat fruit and insects (Lang, 2005, para.1). Since fruit is the most abundant source of food (Lang, 2005, para.1), it would be beneficial to have teeth that allow them to consume fruit more

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