Subfossil lemurs are primates from Madagascar, especially the extinct
giant lemurs, represented by subfossils (partially fossilized remains)
dating from nearly 26,000 to around 560 years ago. Almost all of these
species, including the sloth lemurs, koala lemurs and monkey lemurs,
were living around 2,000 years ago, when humans first arrived on the
island. The extinct species are estimated to have ranged in size from
slightly over 10 kg (22 lb) to roughly 160 kg (350 lb). The
subfossil sites found around most of the island demonstrate that most
giant lemurs had wide distributions. Like living lemurs, they had poor
day vision and relatively small brains, and developed rapidly, but they
relied less on leaping, and more on terrestrial locomotion, slow
climbing, and suspension. Although no recent remains of giant lemurs
have been found, oral traditions and reported recent sightings by
Malagasy villagers suggest that there may be lingering populations or
very recent extinctions.
Today’s selected anniversaries:
British explorer James Cook and the crew of HMS Endeavour
(replica pictured), the first European ship to land in eastern
Australia, reached the coast of Botany Bay near present-day Sydney.
The Parliament of the United Kingdom passed the People’s
Budget, the first budget in British history with the expressed intent of
redistributing wealth among the British public.
The controversial musical Hair, a product of the hippie
counterculture and sexual revolution of the 1960s, opened at the
Biltmore Theatre on Broadway, with its songs becoming anthems of the
anti-Vietnam War movement.
The acquittal of policemen who had beaten African-American
motorist Rodney King sparked six days of civil unrest in Los Angeles,
during which 63 people were killed.
The ringleaders of the Bali Nine were executed in Indonesia for
attempting to smuggle 8.3 kilograms (18 lb) of heroin to Australia.
Wiktionary’s word of the day:
The condition of being fraudulent; deceitfulness.
Wikiquote quote of the day:
I look before me at my lighted candles, I don’t want to turn
around and see with horror How quickly the dark line is lengthening,
How quickly the candles multiply that have been put out.
–Constantine P. Cavafy
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