When Giant Lemurs Ruled Madagascar

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  • 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: superiorjanitorial.pro/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 • 677

  • Alex Avendano
    Alex Avendano  4 days back

    Welcome to Madagascar i am king Julian

    I think I spelled that right

    • Rooster/ gallo
      Rooster/ gallo  1 weeks back

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

      • naaya
        naaya  1 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  2 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  2 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  3 weeks back

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

                        • ana the cat gamer aj
                          ana the cat gamer aj  3 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  3 weeks back

                            I wanted to see lemurs tall like humans

                            • Josh Miller
                              Josh Miller  3 weeks back

                              The giant armadillos of south America please

                              • David Bodor
                                David Bodor  4 weeks 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  4 weeks 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  4 weeks 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  4 weeks 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  1 months back

                                                                            2:44 Mozambique here.

                                                                            • Steve
                                                                              Steve  1 months back

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

                                                                              • alus nova
                                                                                alus nova  1 months back

                                                                                I love her voice..... ASMR WORTHY

                                                                                • Stephen Castro
                                                                                  Stephen Castro  1 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  1 months back

                                                                                    you heard the repenonamus a small mammal who ate small dinos

                                                                                    • Joaquin Elio
                                                                                      Joaquin Elio  1 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.

                                                                                      • TriggeredSmolBean
                                                                                        TriggeredSmolBean  1 months back

                                                                                        For a suggestion what made whales teeth convert to bayleen teeth?

                                                                                        • Bill Kotsarinis
                                                                                          Bill Kotsarinis  1 months back

                                                                                          Make a video for the fauna of prehistoric Australia

                                                                                          • Sierra Maiden
                                                                                            Sierra Maiden  1 months back

                                                                                            Crazy to think that these guys were giants at one point considering I just saw a pet ring tailed lemur at the vets office with a diaper and a harness on. It was sad :/

                                                                                            • Benjamin Davis
                                                                                              Benjamin Davis  1 months back

                                                                                              Please please do a video on Titanoboa and Gigantophis .

                                                                                              • gousmc1983
                                                                                                gousmc1983  1 months back

                                                                                                9k-5k years ago, massive fluctuations in global warming, answer, must have been humans and charcoal that hadn't happened yet.