Babakotia radofilai Godfrey et. al., 1990

Radofila's sloth lemur



Taxonomy & Nomenclature



Conservation Status


Last record: 1150 ± 15 14C age BP ± SD (Michielsen et al., 2023)


People had reached Madagascar by 500 BCE (Crowley, 2010), with the latest record of the species at 1150 ± 15 14C age BP ± SD (Michielsen et al., 2023), being an overlap between the species and humans of at least 1,300 years.









Type specimen: UA/LPV-8713


Other material

DUPC 9144

DUPC 9116

DUPC 9921







Original scientific description:

Godfrey, L. R., Simons, E. L., Chatrath, P. J., and Rakotosamimanana, B. (1990). A new fossil lemur (Babakotia, Primates) from northern Madagascar. Comptes rendus de l'Académie des sciences. Série 2, Mécanique, Physique, Chimie, Sciences de l'univers, Sciences de la Terre 310(1): 81-87.


Other references:

Alcover, Josep Antoni et al. (1998). Mammal Species of the World: Additional Data on Insular Mammals. American Museum Novitates 3248, 29 pp., 1 table.

Burney, David A. et al. (1997). Environmental change, extinction and human activity: evidence from caves in NW Madagascar. Journal of Biogeography 24: 755-767.

Burney DA, Burney LP, Godfrey LR, Jungers WL, Goodman SM, Wright HT, and Jull AJT (2004) A chronology for late prehistoric Madagascar. Journal of Human Evolution 47, 25–63.

Burney, David A. et al. (2020). Subfossil lemur discoveries from the Beanka Protected Area in western Madagascar. Quaternary Research 93: 187-203.

Crowley, Brooke E. (2010). A refined chronology of prehistoric Madagascar and the demise of the megafauna. Quaternary Science Reviews 29(19/20): 2591-2603. [Abstract]

Goodman, S. M. & Jungers, W. L. Extinct Madagascar: Picturing the island’s past. (University of Chicago Press, 2014).

Herrera, J. P. & Dávalos, L. M. Phylogeny and divergence times of lemurs inferred with recent and ancient fossils in the tree. Syst. Biol. 65, 772–91 (2016).

Jungers, W.L., Demes, B. & Godfrey, L.R. 2008 How big were the "giant" extinct lemurs of Madagascar? In Elwyn Simons: a search for origins (ed. J.G. Fleagle & C.C. Gilbert), pp. 343-360. New York: Springer.

William L. Jungers, Laurie R. Godfrey, Elwyn L. Simons, Prithujit S. Chatrath and Berthe Rakotosamimanana. (1991). Phylogenetic and functional affinities of Babakotia (Primates), a fossil lemur from northern Madagascar. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 88: 9082-9086.

Kouvari, M. & van der Geer, A. A. E. Biogeography of extinction: The demise of insular mammals from the Late Pleistocene till today. Palaeogeogr. Palaeoclimatol. Palaeoecol. 505, 295–304 (2018).

Michielsen, Nathan M., Goodman, Steven M., Soarimalala, Voahangy, van der Geer, Alexandra A. E., Dávalos, Liliana M., Saville, Grace I., Upham, Nathan and Valente, Luis. (2023). The macroevolutionary impact of recent and imminent mammal extinctions on Madagascar. Nature Communications 14: 14. [Supplementary Data 1 (mammal list); Supplementary Data 6 (references)]

Nowak, R. M. & Walker, E. P. Walker’s Mammals of the World. vol. 1 (JHU press, 1999).

Rafferty, K. L., Teaford, M. F. and Jungers, W. L. (2002). Molar microwear of subfossil lemurs: improving the resolution of dietary inferences. Journal of Human Evolution 43: 645-657.

Simons, E.L.; Burney, D.A.; Chatrath, P.S.; Godfrey, L.R.; Jungers, W.L.; Rakotosamimanana, B. (1995). AMS 14C Dates for Extinct Lemurs from Caves in the Ankarana Massif, Northern Madagascar. Quaternary Research 43 (2): 249-254. [Abstract]

Elwyn L Simons, Laurie R. Godfrey, William L. Jungers, Prithijit S. Chatrath, Berthe Rakotosamimanana. (1992). A New Giant Subfossil Lemur, Babakotia, and the Evolution of the Sloth Lemurs. Folia Primatologica 58(4): 197-203.

Turvey, Samuel T. (2009). Holocene mammal extinctions, pp. 41-61. In: Turvey, Samuel T. (ed.). Holocene Extinctions. Oxford, UK & New York, USA: Oxford University Press. xii + 352 pp.

Turvey, Samuel T. and Fritz, Susanne A. (2011). The ghosts of mammals past: biological and geographical patterns of global mammalian extinction across the Holocene. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B 366(1577): 2564-2576. [Supplementary Information]


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