Contact: Barbara Kennedy
Caption: For the first time, the complete genomes of three separate populations of aye-ayes -- a type of lemur -- have been sequenced and analyzed in an effort to characterize patterns of genetic diversity and to help guide conservation efforts for the species. This photo shows an aye-aye in its natural habitat. The aye-aye has a long, thin, and flexible middle finger to extract insect larvae from trees, filling the ecological niche of a woodpecker. The aye-aye species is found only on the island of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean and recently was re-classified as "Endangered" by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. The team of scientists that did the research is led by George H. Perry, an assistant professor of anthropology and biology at Penn State University; Webb Miller, a professor of biology and of computer science and engineering at Penn State; and Edward Louis, Director of Conservation Genetics at Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium and Director of the Madagascar Biodiversity Partnership, NGO.
Credit: Edward Louis
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Related news release: Endangered lemurs' complete genomes are sequenced and analyzed for conservation efforts