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Lemur

genus, species, extremely, madagascar and cat

LEMUR, the niticauco, in natural histo ry, a genus of Mammalia, of the order Primates. Generic character : in the up per jaw four front teeth, the intermediate ones remote ; in the lower jaw, six long er, extended forwards, compressed, paral lel, and approximated ; tusks solitary and approximated ; grinders several, and sometimes many, sublobated, the fore most somewhat longer and sharper. This genus of animals is very similar to that of monkeys in the structure of the feet. Some are destitute of a tail, and others have extraordinary long ones. Their manners are very different from those of monkeys, and display nothing of the active mischief and intrusive im pertinence of that animal. There are thirteen species, of which we shall notice the following : L. tardigradus, or the Loris. This is of a light brown colour, and of the usual size of a cat. It walks and climbs with great slowness, and is supposed incapable of leaping. Its manners are gentle and interesting, it is extremely susceptible of cold, and when exposed to a strong de gree of it is agitated with extreme uneasi ness, and with considerable exasperation. It sleeps from sun-rise to sun-set without intermission, rolled tip in the manner of the hedge-hog; it is extremely attentive to cleanliness, licking its full and rich fur with the same assiduity as a cat. Its food consists of plantains, mangoes, and other fruits, and it is scarcely capable of satis fying itself with grasshoppers when it has access to them. Many species of insects, indeed, form a repast particularly gratify ing to it, and the sight of them excites in its look the most glowing animation, and summons to exertion all the energies of its frame. Several of the above particu.

lars are taken from an account given of one kept in a state of confinement by the late Sir William Jones. It is a native of various parts of India.

L. indri, is a native of Madagascar, is the largest of the genus, has a face of a doglike form, and a fur thick and soft. It has no appearance of a tail : it is very docile, and sometimes trained by the na tives to hunt various animals. It is three feet and a half in height.

L. macauco, or the ruffed macauco, is found in some of the Indian islands, and is particularly numerous at Madagascar. It is full of energy and fierceness, and its voice is so strong as to fill the woods with its cries. It will endure captivity, notwith standing the violent passions it exhibits in a natural state, without discontent or depression, and is stated to be extremely inoffensive, and even sociable in it, with those by whom it is surrounded. It pos sesses neither craft nor malice in it.

L. catta, or the ring.tailed macauco. In their state of nature these animals are seen in companies of twenty or thirty. They feed on almost every species of fruits, and in a state of confinement, like several others of this genus, will take animal food without any hesitation. They are the most elegant and beautiful species of the whole genus, are lively and gentle, and so agile and elegant in their movements, as to be highly interesting. They delight much in sunshine, and will sit before a fire, like the squirrel, extending towards it their out-spread hands. It inhabits Madagascar, is of the size of a small cat, and resembles that animal in purring. See Mammalia, Plate XV. fig. I. and 2.