Friday, June 16, 2006

AYE-AYE LEMURS - Duke Lemur Center Has New Research Focus

's Lemur Center has a new focus on research after 40 years of work, so says an extensive article on the ABC News website.
The 40-year-old center which houses the largest collection of lemurs outside their native Madagascar has a new name, a new director, $8 million in newly pledged funding from Duke and a new research focus on lemurs as evolutionary models.
[...]
Only last fall, the center celebrated the first birth of an aye-aye a nocturnal lemur that is becoming increasingly rare in Madagascar in captivity to captive-born parents.

The hurdle was a high one because the father, Merlin, never learned the social skills of wooing and mating. It took a two-year visit with other aye-ayes at the San Francisco Zoo and another two years of coaching by handlers at Duke before Merlin figured out what to do.
Way to go Merlin!!