A huge database containing 48 years of life history data for the Earth's most endangered group of mammals, lemurs, is now available online. Visitors can view and download data for more than 3,600 animals representing 27 species of lemurs, lorises and galagos.

aye aye baby
An infant aye-aye (Daubentonia madagascariensis)

The Duke Lemur Centre in Durham, North Carolina, is the world's largest and most diverse collection of lemurs outside of Madagascar.

Staff at the centre observe and record virtually every aspect of an animal's life from cradle to grave. For each animal they know when it was born, who its parents were, how fast it grew, what it ate, which animals it mated with, how many offspring it had, and when and why it died.

The hope is that the data will result in better care for lemurs in captivity, and help scientists understand these animals in order to better protect them in the wild.

IBTimesUK presents a gallery featuring some of the centre's inhabitants. Visit the Duke Lemur Centre website to find out more about the project.

aye aye baby
The aye-aye is often considered to be the strangest primate in the world. The nocturnal creature's diet is very specialised, leading to it evolving bizarre physical features such as incisors that are continually growing, extremely large ears, and a long skeletal middle finger. The aye-aye taps on branches, using its large ears to listen out for the tell-tale echo of a tunnel, then it rips the bark off with its front teeth, and inserts its middle finger to pull insect grubs out. Think of it as the woodpecker of the animal kingdom.
aye-aye
A 65-day-old aye-aye named Claudia is weighed at the Duke Lemur Centre.
mouse lemurs
Three mouse lemurs (Microcebus murinus). Grey mouse lemurs were thought to be the smallest living primate, until the pygmy mouse lemur (Microcebus myoxinus), thought to be extinct, was re-discovered.
red-ruffed lemur
The red-ruffed lemur (Varecia rubra) has a thick coat of deep chestnut fur, well suited to Madagascar's tropical rain forests. It is critically endangered because of an increase in illegal logging and hunting
red-ruffed lemur
Three red-ruffed lemur babies are cared for at the Duke Lemur Centre. Unlike most lemurs, ruffed lemur females give birth to litters of up to six infants (two or three is more typical).
red-ruffed lemur
A red-ruffed lemur infant yawning.
red-ruffed lemur
Three young red-ruffed lemurs.
ring-tailed lemurs
Ringtailed lemurs (Lemur catta) are the most easily recognisable lemur and the most common in captivity. The males are equipped with scent glands on their wrists which they use in "stink fighting" with a rival male.
black and white ruffed lemur
Two black and white ruffed lemurs (Varecia Variegata) sit on their nesting box
black and white ruffed lemur
A mother and infant black and white ruffed lemur. They are critically endangered in Madagascar, but they thrive in captivity, making them perfect candidates for reintroduction into the wild.
blue-eyed black lemur
A mother and infant blue-eyed black lemur. The males are completely black, while the females are reddish brown.
blue-eyed black lemur
A young male blue-eyed black lemur has a treat at the Duke Lemur Centre.
Coquerels sifaka Propithecus coquereli
A Coquerel's sifaka (Propithecus coquereli). These animals are distinguished from other lemurs by their mode of locomotion; they maintain a vertical posture and leap through the trees using just their back legs. On the ground, they use an elegant, dancing, bipedal sideways hopping motion.
Coquerels sifaka Propithecus coquereli
A Coquerel's sifaka hangs in a tree. Sifaka are found in the dry northwestern forests of Madagascar.
fat-tailed dwarf lemur
A fat-tailed dwarf lemur (Cheirogaleus medius). Their diet consists mostly of fruit and flower nectar, but they also eat insects and small vertebrates.
fat-tailed dwarf lemur
Two baby fat-tailed dwarf lemurs.
jonas dwarf
Jonas, at the age of 29, is the longest-lived captive dwarf lemur in history.
pygmy slow loris
The pygmy slow loris (Nycticebus pygmaeus) is native to parts of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, but its habitat was devastated during the Vietnam War.