Indri - Encyclopedia




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INDRI, a Malagasy word believed to mean "there it goes," but now accepted as the designation of the largest of the existing Malagasy (and indeed of all) lemurs. Belonging to the family Lemuridae (see PRIMATES) it typifies the subfamily Indrisinae, which includes the avahi and the sifakas (q.v.). From both the latter it is distinguished by its rudimentary tail, measuring only a couple of inches in length, whence its name of Indris brevicaudatus. Measuring about 24 in. in length, exclusive of the tail, the indri varies considerably in colour, but is usually black, with a variable number of whitish patches, chiefly about the loins and on the fore-limbs. The forests of a comparatively small tract on the east coast of Madagascar form its home. Shoots, flowers and berries form the food of the indri, which was first discovered by the French traveller and naturalist Pierre Sonnerat in 1780. (R. L.*)

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