Although the movie Madagascar focuses on the exploits of escaped zoo animals Alex the lion, Marty the zebra, Gloria the hippopotamus, and Melman the giraffe, the lemurs on the animated film often end up stealing the show. The movie tells the story of how the New York City zoo animals accidentally escape their homes and wind up in Madagascar. The animals struggle to adjust to their wilder environment, ending up in some truly funny moments on film.
The island of Madagascar is unique because it lacks the typical primate population found in most countries, instead having the older group of primates, lemurs, which belong to the sub-order Strepsirhini—it’s the same family that pottos, lorises and bushbabies belong to. It’s because of Madagascar’s isolation why the animals still live to this day.
For most people outside the scientific world, lemurs are generally categorized by their behavior during the time of the day. Nocturnal lemurs are usually smaller and shy of people while diurnal lemurs can be active during any time of the year—they’re also the ones portrayed on the film Madagascar. Lemurs are incredibly vocal animals, known to make sounds ranging from grunts, chirps to wails very similar to a police siren or call of a humpback whale.