Once they had split away from the haplorrhines, the strepsirrhines themselves diverged into two major lineages around 69 million years ago. The first gave rise to the Lorisiformes, a group that includes the slow-deliberate lorises and pottos, and the spectacular leaping bushbabies. They diversified around 40 million years ago.
The second lineage gave rise to the Chiromyiformes, solely represented today by the bizarre aye-aye, and the Lemuriformes, which include all other lemurs. There are more than a hundred species and subspecies of lemur and they all live on the island of Madagascar. Every one of them descended from a common ancestor that washed up on the island’s shores around 59 million years ago.
Images by Kalyan Varma (slender loris, left), OpenCage (Senegal bushbaby, middle), Visionholder (black-and-white ruffed lemur, right)