Friday, January 21, 2011


(Image Source)
Phylum : Chordata
Class : Mammalia
Order : Primates
Suborder : Strepsirrhini
Infraorder : Lemuriformes
Family : Palaeopropithecidae
Genus : Babakotia
Species : radofilai

Length : Around 4ft (1.2m)
Weight : 20-40lbs (9-18kg)

Status : Extinct since around 1000CE

Babakotia is an interesting species that is referred to as a "Sloth Lemur." They were members of the Lemur infraorder, and lived on Madagascar, but they had numerous traits in common with sloths. Anatomically, Babkotia had elongated arms, curved digits, and mobile ankle and hip joints. They are a great example of convergent evolution, which is when two different types of creature evolve similar traits based upon a similar lifestyle.

Babakotia was named after a Malagasy name for the Indri Lemur (or Babakoto), which is a relative of Babakotia. Based on their dentition, Babakotia was an herbivore that fed on leaves with an occasional supplement of seeds and fruit.

It is believed that Babakotia went extinct rather recently, possibly as recent as 1,000 years ago, which was shortly after humans arrived on Madagascar. The only radiocarbon dating done places the found fossils around 3,000BCE. There were a handful of other Sloth Lemurs, all members of family Palaeopropithecidae, but the entire family is now extinct.

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