Friday, April 26, 2013

How Did Lemurs come to Rule Madagascar...?

On our recent cruise along the east coast of Africa, we went in search of the black lemur on the island of Nosy Be, Madagascar.  It turned out to be quite an expedition – including paddling our own dug-out pirogues and walking across hot sand and mud to the Lokobe Reserve.  Local guides led us through the bush and we were successful in getting close-up views of a beautiful pair of Black Lemurs.
The female Black Lemur is a beautiful Cinnamon color
I prepared guests onboard the ms Amsterdam with a lecture about the fascinating creatures of Madagascar, including Lemurs.  In Africa, Monkeys evolved 30 million years after the early lemurs, out-competing the lemur lineage and driving them to extinction.  But by then the island of Madagascar was already far out to sea, drifting away from the African continent.  Thus my punch line -- "monkeys missed the boat by 30 million years." (An apt comparison for an audience of cruisers!)