Meet Dr. Kenneth Glander
Dr. Glander is Professor of Biological Anthropology and Anatomy at Duke University. Dr. Glander’s research has focused on studying plant-primate interactions. His long-term field project of over 25 years centers on the interaction between plant-produced chemicals and primate feeding behavior as well as the impact this has on primate social organizations and related aspects of primate physiology, evolution and behavior. Read more about Dr. Glander’s research at Duke University.
Dr. Glander wrote about lemurs for the PBS series,
Living Edens: Madagascar, A World Apart
“Ask the person next to you what a lemur is and he or she may not even know it’s an animal. Someone more acquainted with the tree-hopping, furry creatures might guess they’re related to squirrels or cats. But the truth is, lemurs are more closely related to you and me.
Lemurs are primates, an order that includes monkeys, apes and humans. There are approximately 32 different types of lemurs in existence today, all of which are endemic to Madagascar; a single island country off the southeast coast of Africa.
In order to understand the differences between lemurs and other primates, it helps to go down a level. Primates can be broken into two suborders: anthropoids and prosimians. Monkeys, apes and humans are anthropoids. Lemurs are prosimians. Other prosimians include galgoes (bushbabies) found in Africa, lorises found in Asia, and tarsiers found in Borneo and the Philippines.Unlike all other primates, prosimians have moist noses and rely on their sense of smell to determine what is safe to eat and to distinguish between individuals in their social groups.
Like other primates, prosimians groom themselves and their acquaintances, but because prosimians can’t use their fingers in the same way, they use their teeth as a comb. In prosimian species, females play the dominant role. They get the best food choices in the wild, defend the group and choose with whom they mate.
Prosimians are those primates that evolved before the anthropoids. The first prosimian appears in the fossil record about 55 million years ago, the first monkey about 45 million years ago, and the first ape about 35 million years ago…”CLICK HERE TO READ THE COMPLETE ARTICLE ON THE PBS WEB SITE