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Paleontology

In addition to live animals, the Duke Lemur Center is also home to a collection of more than 27,000 fossil specimens from around the world, ranging from 55 million to 500 years old. The primary focus of the collections is on lemurs and other primates, but many other mammals and vertebrates are housed here as well.

Gregg Gunnell directs the Division of Fossil Primates at the Duke Lemur Center. Photo by Jon Gardiner/Duke Photography

Gregg Gunnell directs the Division of Fossil Primates at the Duke Lemur Center. Photo by Jon Gardiner/Duke Photography

Visitors to the Duke Lemur Center’s Division of Fossil Primates will find the fossil bones of giant extinct lemurs – some as large as orangutans and gorillas – that once lived in Madagascar before humans arrived on the island some 2000 years ago. They will also find what is probably the world’s largest and most important collections of early anthropoid primates (the group that includes living monkeys, apes and humans).Using these skeletons, skulls, teeth and other fossil clues, researchers are exploring questions about what these animals ate, how they moved, even how long they took to grow and reproduce.

Learn more about our fossil collections, ongoing projects, and opportunities
for students and researchers by visiting the Duke Lemur Center’s Division of Fossil Primates.

Related News

Fossils, Ancient Texts and … Moss? Unique Duke collections you may not know Aug 7, 2013 Duke Today

Gregg Gunnell: Managing the Fossils Duke’s noted fossil collection is under new management Oct 21, 2011 Duke Today

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