any of various small, arboreal, chiefly nocturnal mammals of the family Lemuridae, of Madagascar and the Comoro Islands, especially of the genus Lemur, usually having large eyes, a foxlike face, and woolly fur: most lemurs are endangered.

1790–1800; < Neo-Latin, apparently special use of Latin lemurēs (plural) ghosts, specters

lemurlike, adjective
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World English Dictionary
lemur (ˈliːmə)
1.  any Madagascan prosimian primate of the family Lemuridae, such as Lemur catta (the ring-tailed lemur). They are typically arboreal, having foxy faces and long tails
2.  any similar or closely related animal, such as a loris or indris
[C18: New Latin, adapted from Latin lemurēs ghosts; so named by Linnaeus for its ghost-like face and nocturnal habits]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

"nocturnal Madagascar mammal," 1795, coined by Linnaeus, from L. lemures (pl.) "spirits of the dead" in Roman mythology. So called for its nocturnal habits and ghostly stares. Lemuria (1864) was the name given by P.L. Sclater to a hypothetical ancient continent connecting Africa and Southeastern Asia
(and including Madagascar), which was hypothesized to explain phenomena now accounted for by continental drift.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
The zoo also has endangered species such as the red panda and ring-tailed lemur.
He says he'd prefer to be a lemur or a rabbit and still be intelligent and keep
  the opposable thumbs.
His role is a study in worry: the angst rarely leaves his deep-set lemur's eyes.
But the small lemur pulled through, soon becoming one of the center's
  celebrities, relatively speaking.
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