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The ring-tailed lemur was one of the first lemurs to be classified by Carl Linnaeus in 1758.

The history of the taxonomy of lemurs dates back to 1758 when Carl Linnaeus first classified them. Having undergone independent evolution on Madagascar, lemurs have displaced many other types of mammals, and approximately 70 to 100 species and subspecies are recognized today. They include the smallest primates in the world, and once included some of the largest. Currently living lemur species are divided into five families and 15 genera. Since the arrival of humans around 2,000 years ago, lemurs have become restricted to 10% of the island, and many face extinction. The recent steep increase in species numbers is due to improved genetic analysis, a push to encourage the protection of isolated lemur populations, and the elevation of existing subspecies to full species status. Concerns over lemur conservation have also affected their taxonomy, since distinct species receive increased conservation attention. (Full article...)