The Duke Lemur Center was founded in 1966 by two scientists. Lemurs are small mammals who have large eyes and long tails. The scientists were interested in studying lemurs and their behavior. They chose to build the center in Duke Forest. They were able to build there because Duke University was interested in their research.

Watch this video to learn more about the Duke Lemur center and its mission

why study lemurs?

Lemurs are in danger of becoming extinct, or disappearing forever. Animals are extinct when they no longer exist, like dinosaurs. Endangered animals are at risk of becoming extinct when there are not many of them left. Lemurs are one of the most endangered mammals on earth.

WHat can scientists learn from lemurs?

The Duke Lemur Center believes that the more they learn about lemurs, the better they can work to save them from extinction. There are many types of lemurs for scientists to study. Lemurs are also related to humans so we can learn a lot about ourselves through them.
The Duke Lemur Center is also making a difference by helping people to learn about lemurs and to share information about them. Over the past 50 years at the Duke Lemur Center over 3,000 endangered lemurs have been born. Thousands of students and scientists have studied there and will continue to do so.
At the center, lemurs are studied carefully and respectfully. Lemurs are wild animals and touching them is dangerous for their health and ours. Lemurs are only touched with protective gloves when cared for by veterinarians, zoologists, and scientists. This also allows the lemurs at the center to grow and behave as they would in the wild.
Lemurs’ natural home is in the forests of Madagascar, a country off the coast of Africa. For the last 35 years, the Duke Lemur Center has also worked to protect lemurs in Madagascar. The center has helped to teach people in Madagascar about how to grow and take care of the wild lemur population.
In 2016, a rare blue-eyed black lemur was born at the Duke Lemur Center. Her name is Ranomasina, which means the “sea” in Malagasy (the language spoken in Madagascar). She is rare because there are only a few of them in the world. There are 9 in Madagascar, 28 in Europe, and 34 in the U.S.

The Many Lemurs of the Duke Lemur Center

Along with promoting research, the Duke Lemur Center also welcomes EVERYONE to come learn and see what they do! Visit lemur.duke.edu to learn more about the Duke Lemur Center!

A little Quiz for those who think they are Lemur experts

Thank you to our friends at the Duke Lemur Center for making this exhibit possible!


Courtesy of the Duke Lemur Center