Species and Speciation: Reviewed Article
‘Little Brown Lemurs’ of Northern Madagascar
Tattersall I.a · W. Sussman R.b
Phylogeny and Ecological Role in Resource Partitioning
aAmerican Museum of Natural History, New York, N.Y., bWashington University, St. Louis, Mo., USA
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The species and subspecies of Eulemur in Madagascar are in some ways equivalent to the nondescript bird species dismissed by ornithologists as ‘little brown jobs’ (LBJs), and have correspondingly attracted relatively little attention from primatologists. Yet they are diverse, widely distributed, and fill a variety of ecological roles. We review what is known of these lemurs, and conclude that small but significant behavioral differences exist among them, particularly in the way in which they partition available resources. Because they exhibit both sympatric and allopatric distributions, these primates provide an ideal model for investigating the influences of ecological role vs. phylogeny in determining patterns of habitat use within local populations.
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