History of Study of the Malagasy Lemurs, with Notes on Major Museum Collections

  • John Buettner-Janusch
  • Ian Tattersall
  • Robert W. Sussman


The history of Madagascar’s contacts with Arab, European, and possibly Chinese explorers is a long one, and it is almost inconceivable that such early visitors should not have reported their impressions of the island’s unique primates. However, the earliest extant record of these animals appeared as late as 1658, when Etienne de Flacourt published his Histoire de la Grande Isle Madagascar. This remarkable work, the fruit of several years’ sojourn at Fort Dauphin, contains several recognizable descriptions of extant lemurs and a description of another animal which cannot be identified with any living species but which may correspond to one of the several recently extinct forms. One of de Flacourt’s clearest portraits is of the sifaka, an animal subsequently not described and possibly not even observed by another European until Grandidier named the species Propithecus verreauxi in 1867.


United States National Museum MALAGASY Lemur Extinct Form London Missionary Society Major Museum 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1975

Authors and Affiliations

  • John Buettner-Janusch
    • 1
  • Ian Tattersall
    • 2
  • Robert W. Sussman
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of AnthropologyNew York UniversityNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.Department of AnthropologyAmerican Museum of Natural HistoryNew YorkUSA
  3. 3.Department of AnthropologyWashington UniversitySt. LouisUSA

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