Friday Know Your Primate: Indris

Infraorder Lemuriformes
Family Indriidae
Subfamily Indriinae
Genus Indris
Species Indri Indri

The Family Indridae consists of three genera that mainly differ in size and activity pattern. Indris are the largest. They are diurnal and reside in the hilly rain forests along the east coast of Madagascar. They have long hands and feet and long slender arms and legs. They are also tailess. This can be seen more clearly in the picture of an Indri skeleton below:
They are vertical clingers and leapers…
Dental formula is 2-1-2-3 and like the lemurids they have a tympanic ring that lies free in the bulla and a large stapedial artery. They eat fruits and leaves and reside in small family groups of about four individuals. They are also highly vocal
There are also at least five genera of fossil Indriids Mesopropithecus, Paleopropithecus and Archaeoindris, Hadropithecus and Archaeoindris comprising at least eight species:
Mesopropithecus pithecoides
M. globiceps
Archaeolenur edwardsi
A. Majori
Hadropithecus stenognathus
Paleopithecus ingens
P. maximus
Archaeoindris fontoynonti

Which are not that different from their surviving relatives – all being part and parcel of the strepsirhine adaptive radiation on Madagascar. The Galapagos have their finches but Madagascar has primates!
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One Response

  1. The Indris are also characterized by syndactyly -the 3 or 4 outer phalanges if I’m not mistaken. And their calls are heard up to 2-3 miles and believed to be used to establish territories and/or reunite members of the group. The female is dominant to the male, but the male is responsible for protecting the group.
    The killing of Indris is taboo among the indigenous primates that wear clothes, but habitat destruction is still a grave threat to the Indris.

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