From Latin lemurēs (“spirits of the dead”). The name was originally given to the slender loris (then Lemur tardigradus) in 1754 by Carl Linnaeus. According to Linnaeus, the name was selected because of the nocturnal activity and slow movements of the slender loris. In 1758, Linnaeus added—among others—the ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) to the genus Lemur. All other species, including the slender loris, were eventually moved to other genera. In time, the word became the colloquial name for all primates endemic to Madagascar.
- (genus): Lemur catta - the only species
- ^ A. R. Dunkel; J. S. Zijlstra; C. P. Groves (2011/2012), “Giant Rabbits, Marmosets, and British Comedies: Etymology of Lemur Names, Part 1”, Lemur News, volume 16, retrieved 11 April 2013, pages 64–70.
- Lemur in Duden online