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Question Sheet: The Littlest Lemurs

SCIENCE

Before reading:

  1. What primates can you name? 
  2. Why do you think that primates tend to be more intelligent than other

    animals?

During reading:

  1. Where is Madagascar? 
  2. Anja Deppe says, "We're using them [lemurs] as an ancestral primate model."

    What does she mean? 

  3. How do the researchers trap lemurs? 
  4. Why is it important to note that mouse lemurs fear only certain things? 
  5. What information does Deppe record when she studies lemurs? 
  6. How are the habits of female lemurs different from those of males? 
  7. What sorts of things do scientists still not know about lemurs?

After reading:

  1. Why is a lemur a primate? What are its primate characteristics? See nationalzoo.si.edu/Animals/Primates/Facts/FactSheets/Lemurs/

    (Smithsonian National Zoological Park). 

  2. How can studying lemurs help scientists learn about humans? See news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2004/06/0604_040604_lemurs.html

    (National Geographic). 

  3. Why would female mouse lemurs enter a state called torpor? How would this

    state help the animals biologically? See lemur.duke.edu/animals/fattaileddwarf/print.php (Duke

    University) or www.thewildones.org/Animals/fatlemur.html(The Wild Ones). 

  4. Would you be willing to study lemurs in Madagascar? Why or why not? 
  5. What name would you give to a mouse lemur that you happened to be studying?

    Explain why you would choose this name. 

  6. How is it possible for scientists to discover new species? Why don't we yet

    know all the species on Earth?


SOCIAL STUDIES

What is the population of Madagascar? What is the island's area? When did people first arrive on the island? Why is Madagascar sometimes called the "Eighth Continent"? Why is Madagascar a good place to study evolution and habitat change? Why is wildlife conservation an important issue in the country? See www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/ma.html (CIA), en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Madagascar (Wikipedia), and www.wcs.org/international/Africa/madagascar (Wildlife

Conservation Society).


LANGUAGE ARTS

  1. Use the information in this article to write a shorter article for younger

    kids about lemurs. 

  2. Go to the library and find a book about lemurs (or Madagascar, in general).

    Write a brief review of the book explaining what you liked and didn't like about

    it.


MATHEMATICS

On a map of Madagascar, the scale states that 3 inches represent 125 miles. Two beaches are 5.2 inches apart on the map. How far apart are the two beaches in miles?

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