When Giant Lemurs Ruled Madagascar

  • Published: 26 September 2019
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    Just a few thousand years ago, the island of Madagascar was inhabited by giant lemurs. How did such a diverse group of primates evolve in the first place, and how did they help shape the unique environments of Madagascar? And how did they get winnowed down, leaving only their smaller relatives behind?

    Thanks to Ceri Thomas for the lemur illustrations! Check out more of Ceri's paleoart at alphynix.tumblr.com

    And thanks as always to Nobu Tamura for allowing us to use his wonderful paleoart: spinops.blogspot.com/

    Produced in collaboration with PBS Digital Studios: lavendercottage.info/user/pbsdigitalstudios

    Super special thanks to the following Patreon patrons for helping make Eons possible:
    Katie Fichtner, Anthony Callaghan, David Sewall, Anton Bryl, Ben Thorson, Andrey, MissyElliottSmith, The Scintillating Spencer, AA, Zachary Spencer, Stefan Weber, Ilya Murashov, Robert Amling, Po Foon Kwong, Larry Wilson, Merri Snaidman, John Vanek, Neil H. Gray, Esmeralda Rupp-Spangle, Gregory Donovan, Gabriel Cortez, Marcus Lejon, Robert Arévalo, Robert Hill, Todd Dittman, Betsy Radley, PS, Philip Slingerland, Eric Vonk, Tony Wamsley, Henrik Peteri, Jonathan Wright, Jon Monteiro, James Bording, Brad Nicholls, Miles Chaston, Michael McClellan, Jeff Graham, Maria Humphrey, Nathan Paskett, Connor Jensen, Daisuke Goto, Hubert Rady, Gregory Kintz, Tyson Cleary, Chandler Bass, Joao Ascensao, Tsee Lee, Alex Yan

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    References: docs.google.com/document/d/1zMyq0yX9msdLBWjBKoUJEFfPjnCiYECaCjFggHDqiHA/
  • Science and Technology Science and Technology

Comments • 684

  • Dudepool
    Dudepool  20 hours back

    Betcha that Steve dude is the monkey from Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs

    • Dudepool
      Dudepool  20 hours back

      "But today, they're all gone"... NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! I NEED A GIANT MONKEY LEMUR!!!!! SCIENCE, CLONE ME ONE RIGHT NOW!!!!!!

      • Lumberjack king the great

        Well if I could bring back any exstinct animal it would be a gliptodon

        • Lumberjack king the great


          • Pepper
            Pepper  4 days back

            nice video PBS

            • Alex Avendano
              Alex Avendano  1 weeks back

              Welcome to Madagascar i am king Julian

              I think I spelled that right

              • Rooster/ gallo
                Rooster/ gallo  2 weeks back

                humans been putting species in exstinct since thousands of years ago we're a virus i swear:/

                • naaya
                  naaya  2 weeks back

                  Evolution of different insects please!! Love you guys

                  • Lance Hondrade
                    Lance Hondrade  2 weeks back

                    **Kong joined the chat**

                    • Extreme Nature
                      Extreme Nature  2 weeks back

                      Humans didn’t evolve on Madagascar they migrated

                      • ImaginAnalyst
                        ImaginAnalyst  3 weeks back

                        I appreciate the lemuresque ambient music! Keep up the excellent and fun work, you guys! Also, I want to hear about why jellyfish haven't changed or gone extinct in like 400 million years.

                        • XxToXicVaGxX
                          XxToXicVaGxX  3 weeks back

                          Those poor poor 300 year drought lemurs. That is TOUGH

                          • Jeremy Bennett
                            Jeremy Bennett  3 weeks back

                            so sad

                            • Third Eye
                              Third Eye  3 weeks back

                              Aye-Ayes have been one of my favourite animals since i found out about them, theyre so ugly but adorable! XD

                              • Azzrudin Jamil
                                Azzrudin Jamil  3 weeks back

                                I like to move it, move it
                                I like to
                                Move it

                                • Ryuma King
                                  Ryuma King  4 weeks back

                                  Why do you suddenly start playing Klaus Schulze at the end?

                                  • ana the cat gamer aj
                                    ana the cat gamer aj  4 weeks back

                                    0:30 AYEEEEE m'cute boi <3 (it is stil kinda creepy tho ;;-;;) and if the giant aye-aye stil existed i would had died ;;-;; (or want one as a pet)

                                    • steve prime
                                      steve prime  4 weeks back

                                      I wanted to see lemurs tall like humans

                                      • Josh Miller
                                        Josh Miller  4 weeks back

                                        The giant armadillos of south America please

                                        • David Bodor
                                          David Bodor  1 months back

                                          - Aye aye captain!
                                          - What? I didn't say anything!
                                          - No, captain, aye aye captain!
                                          - What the hell is that thing?!
                                          - An aye aye captain!

                                          • Christophe Breland
                                            Christophe Breland  1 months back

                                            What I have trouble with is it hard be atleast 2 animals that some how get sweeper across the sea. Also with low water and Mya the gap would have been smaller so I guess it we have been easier. Also the scarcity of fossils from needing the right conditions and then for someone to find it and correctly identify it would make me think they were there. How many mammals are found on islands looks volcanic ones or that could not have been there if they broke off the mainland?

                                            • Zootycoonman223
                                              Zootycoonman223  1 months back

                                              Isopatric evolution is the most fascinating way evolution can be seen just because of the island gigantism and dwarfism that occurs but also because of the rampant convergent evolution. Though humans didn’t “evolve” on the island; they arrived.

                                              • Blobbert Mcblob
                                                Blobbert Mcblob  1 months back

                                                Humans ruin everything. Giant lemurs would be dope to see.

                                                • Kaleesh Synth
                                                  Kaleesh Synth  1 months back

                                                  A long time ago the lemurs of Madagascar all lived in harmony.
                                                  Then everything changed when the human nation attacked.

                                                  • Mc attack
                                                    Mc attack  1 months back

                                                    This is y I love women teachers there so interesting and energetic

                                                    • Dalton Hill
                                                      Dalton Hill  1 months back

                                                      I like to see a video on Madagascar's extinct dwarf hippos or other dwarf island mammals

                                                      • michmirich
                                                        michmirich  1 months back

                                                        You have a really nice voice and narration style.

                                                        • HI HD
                                                          HI HD  1 months back

                                                          You are so adorable

                                                          • Linear Wolf
                                                            Linear Wolf  1 months back

                                                            You know what else is giant in madagascar?

                                                            • Linear Wolf
                                                              Linear Wolf  1 months back

                                                              I like to move it, move it

                                                              I like to move it, move it

                                                              I like to

                                                              MOVE IT

                                                              • JB Townsend
                                                                JB Townsend  1 months back

                                                                One time they found poop inside of a butt

                                                                • Maxx Gunner
                                                                  Maxx Gunner  1 months back

                                                                  I Like to Move It, Move It! I Like to Move It, Move It! I Like to Move It, Move It! You Like to... Move It!

                                                                  • Lalu
                                                                    Lalu  1 months back

                                                                    I LIKE TO MOVE IT, MOVE IT...

                                                                    • Manish Kumar Singh
                                                                      Manish Kumar Singh  1 months back

                                                                      I like to move it move it

                                                                      • Luke Brunner
                                                                        Luke Brunner  1 months back

                                                                        Would be cool to see a video about something that went extinct that wasn't caused by the big 3 (humans, climate, great dying)

                                                                        • Collins Milgo
                                                                          Collins Milgo  1 months back

                                                                          Humans to Animals throughout the ages: That's a nice habitat you got there.......be a shame if someone...... destroyed it.

                                                                          • nooneisaslucky
                                                                            nooneisaslucky  1 months back

                                                                            So, basically, if nature doesn't wipe things out, humans will.

                                                                            • Christan Endam
                                                                              Christan Endam  1 months back

                                                                              King Julian

                                                                              • Kelechi Agu
                                                                                Kelechi Agu  1 months back

                                                                                Shout out to King Julian's ancestors.

                                                                                • Little Yellow Fish
                                                                                  Little Yellow Fish  1 months back

                                                                                  I would love to learn about why the nautilus survived but the ammonite didn’t, and more about their family tree

                                                                                  • zalambdalestes
                                                                                    zalambdalestes  1 months back

                                                                                    Could you do a video on zalambdalestes?

                                                                                    • cristhianmlr
                                                                                      cristhianmlr  2 months back

                                                                                      2:44 Mozambique here.

                                                                                      • Steve
                                                                                        Steve  2 months back

                                                                                        Wow Madagascar is only 587,041 sq km, not much bigger than Tasmania (533,308 sq km).

                                                                                        • alus nova
                                                                                          alus nova  2 months back

                                                                                          I love her voice..... ASMR WORTHY

                                                                                          • Stephen Castro
                                                                                            Stephen Castro  2 months back

                                                                                            Island gigantism and island dwarfism. These are the trends of animals when they got into isolated habitats from the mainlands.

                                                                                            • Tony Montana
                                                                                              Tony Montana  2 months back

                                                                                              you heard the repenonamus a small mammal who ate small dinos

                                                                                              • Joaquin Elio
                                                                                                Joaquin Elio  2 months back

                                                                                                Here in South America.
                                                                                                Snakes, frogs, rodents, birds, they all like to travel in a green floating carpet down the river.
                                                                                                It is the "Camalote", a floating plant that tend to form big islands by entangling their roots.

                                                                                                Eichhornia crassipes
                                                                                                With the flooding they can reach as far as Buenos Aires, (too cold in winter to survive) and their passengers can't get a ticket back.