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Animal Evolution

The first animals likely evolved from marine protists that clumped together in colonies.

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Monkey See...Wait, That's Not A Monkey!

Monkey See...Wait, That's Not A Monkey!

Red Ruffed Lemur (Varecia rubra)

What Are You Looking At?

Monkeys are iconic to humans. Whether in cartoons or movies, in the wild, or at the zoo, there is something about monkeys people love. They are even in our language "monkey business," "monkey wrench," "don't monkey around," "monkey see, monkey do." Yes, humans are wild for monkeys. What would our world be like if there weren't monkeys? Well, it might be like Madagascar! Then we'd be talking about "lemur business!"

No Duh's and Head Scratchers

If you need help scratching a mental itch, use the resources below:

  1. What is an adaptive or evolutionary radiation? How does this apply to lemurs and Madagascar? Do you think this concept could be applied to dogs? Why or why not?
  2. Do you think that primates are unique in being able to radiate into so many different roles? Why or why not? Do you think some animals might be able to do this but not others? Do you think plants have this ability? Why or why not?
  3. If animals are so good at adapting to new habitats, then why does it matter if humans change things by modifying or destroying habitats? Do you think this situation deserves attention or will it work itself out?
  4. What are four ways that niches can become open and create opportunities for rapid speciation? Are all these ways mutually exclusive? Why or why not? Which of these ways do you think played a role in lemur diversification in Madagascar? Why do you favor this pathway?


Black and White Ruffed Lemur (Varecia variegata)

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