Dictionary of Human Evolution and Biology

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Varecia Gray, 1863

Monotypic prosimian genus to which the ruffed lemur belongs; Aka variegated or black-and-white lemur; two subspecies recognized; previously included in Lemur. Occupies tropical rain forest running parallel to the east coast of Madagascar. Arboreal; crepuscular; quadrupedal. Body mass 3-4.5 kg; this is the largest of the true lemurs. A characteristic that distinguishes it from Lemur and Eulemur is the three pairs of mammae instead of the one pair found in the other two genera. Dental formula: 3.1.3.3; frugivorous. Social organization varies depending on environment; small monogamous family units are reported as well as larger groups of 8-16 animals. Territorial with a number of vocalizations, including alarm calls and territorial markers.

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