Madagascar’s flora and fauna have evolved in relative isolation since the island split from the African and Indian continents. When the last common ancestors of lemurs left Africa between 40 and 70 million years ago, they carried a subset of the viral diversity of the mainland population within them, which continued to evolve throughout the lemur radiation. Sharon Kessler discusses two gammaretroviruses and three betaretroviruses in the genomes of four species of wild mouse lemurs.
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Image courtesy of interviewee