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Indri

Indris (Indri indri) are considered to be the largest of all of the lemurs, and are the only lemurs with vestigial tails. They have dense, silky black and white fur, with their patterns varying between populations on the island. Indris at the northern edge of the range tend to be darker, while those at the southern edge are usually lighter in colour. Their ears are black and tufted, and they have long muzzles, long slender legs and short arms. They are arboreal, with fantastic adaptations to allow them to climb trees and leap from one to another. Their powerful legs are about one third longer than their arms, and are able to propel them through the forest canopy in an upright position over distances of up to ten metres. The hands and feet are large and adapted for climbing trees and running along the forest floor, with small opposable thumbs, and large opposable big toes, which are useful for grabbing and handling things. The other toes are held together by webbing and work as one unit. The females are often larger in size than the males, and look very similar in appearance, as do the juveniles. The loud eerie wailing call of the indri can be heard over 2 km away. Malagasy people consider hunting the indri taboo or ‘fady’.

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