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The prosimian primates of Africa, Asia and Madagascar represent a group of relatively cryptic primates species whose diversity is only now being recognized. Most prosimians are nocturnal and therefore not easy to study in the wild.

The galagos (bushbabies) of Africa, for example, are currently estimated to include some 40 species, a massive difference from the 6-8 types described in many textbooks. The reason that nocturnal species are frequently overlooked lies in their secretive habits and similarity of appearance. Differences between species are, however, readily apparent from their distinctive calls which correlate with species-specific reproductive anatomy and other details of structure and behaviour.

Nocturnal prosimians combine a number of characteristics that make them particularly useful in studies of biodiversity and habitat stability. In Africa up to 7 prosimian species may occupy the same locality, showing classical habitat partitioning. They are distributed throughout the continent from sea level to over 2000m in environments ranging from semi-arid savannah to primary rainforest.