Duke Lemur Center

Friday afternoon I left work a few hours early and went to the Duke University Lemur Center.

This is the sign that greets you to the center. Until recently it was called the Duke Primate Center. The name change is apparently a PR push that Duke is making for a more visitor-friendly approach.

The logo seen above on the T-shirt is quite cute and plastered all over the place. Since lemurs are often cute and always fascinating I'm sure that funding will jump now that Duke is pushing for a more public image.

The education portion of this program.

Lemurs developed from one common ancestor, a small mammal that hit Madagascar around 65 million years ago.

Since there was little competition from other species, a common circumstance on islands, this mammal developed into a large variety of species over the years to take advantage of available food sources and habitats.

Had Darwin spent time in Madagascar instead of the Galapagos, no doubt his theories of speciation would have used lemurs as their focal point.

I didn't have very many pictures of the lemurs turn out well but I'll show a few on here today and tomorrow.

The lemurs are adapted for a warm environment, far warmer than NC in winter, and so they're housed in well heated cages this time of year. It was hard to get pictures of the lemurs as a result. :-(

This fellow was happily munching away on a snack.

Lemurs are fairly active when hungry or curious--so my tour group of 8 people plus guide had them scampering about in their enclosures thus making it even more difficult to get pictures.

Little light, fast moving animals, and chain link fence between me and them didn't make for ideal circumstances. Which is quite unfortunate since the prosimians are so damn photogenic!

I took several short videos but only one really came out looking very interesting. I'll post that later this weekend, once I upload it to Blogger's video share server.

Isn't this guy adorable? He looks like he's on that ladder modeling for my camera. That coy over the shoulder shot is just as sweet as can be.

The guide that was conducting the tour was very good. He kept up a running commentary on the animals, their background, and pertinent facts about them both in captivity and in the wild.

I'd share more information with y'all if my memory was better. But it sucks, my memory that is, so I can't. You'll just have to settle for the pictures at the moment. I think this black and white lemur is a Coquerel's Sifaka. But don't hold me to it!

This fellow, adorable also, looks rather pensive. It was hard as Hell to get a good picture of him since he was darting all over the place. In a rare moment of comparative calm I got this picture.

This might be a Golden-Crowned Sifaka. Or maybe not...


Diane Mandy said…
I didn't know that Duke had something like this. Cool.

Hey did you all get any snow or ice last night?
utenzi said…
Nothing last night, Diane. The temp bottomed out around 34. It's 38 right now but that's supposed to be the high of the day and the snow's supposed to start around noon and continue for a few hours. The overnight low is projected to be 22, and tomorrow down to 16. Brrrr!
I think you pictures turned out nicely here. I love the one of the black and white where he's posing on the ladder for you.
carli said…
That is too cool, Tenz. I hope they're all well-cared for.

I'd totally go there tomorrow if I wasn't several states away. . . but if you wouldn't mind stopping by my blog and voting on what I should do tomorrow, that'd be cool.

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