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Microcebus myoxinus

Pygmy Mouse Lemur

The mouse lemurs are nocturnal lemurs of the genus Microcebus. Like all lemurs, mouse lemurs are native to Madagascar. Mouse lemurs have a combined head, body and tail length of less than 27 centimetres (11 in), making them the smallest primates (the smallest species being Madame Berthe's mouse lemur); however, their weight fluctuates in response to daylight duration. Lemurs and Mouse Lemurs were announced by the IUCN as the most endangered of all vertebrates. There are about 24 mouse lemur species identified by 2016. There were only 2 known mouse lemur species by 1992. It was estimated that the 24 mouse lemur species evolved from a common ancestor 10 million years ago. Evolution of mouse lemurs is an example for adaptive radiation.

Mouse lemurs are omnivorous; their diets are diverse and include insects secretions, arthropods, small vertebrates, gum, fruit, flowers, nectar, and also leaves and buds depending on the season.

Mouse lemurs are considered cryptic species - with very little morphological differences between the various species, but with high genetic diversity. Recent evidence points to differences in their mating calls, which is very diverse. Since mouse lemurs are nocturnal, they might not have evolved to look differently, but had evolved various auditory and vocal systems. Mouse lemurs have the smallest known brain of any primate, at just 0.004 pounds (2 grams).

Reproduction and Evolution Edit

Mouse lemurs are also known for their sperm competition. During breeding seasons, the testicles of male mouse lemurs increase in size to about 130% of their normal size. This was speculated to increase the sperm production thereby conferring an advantage for the individual to bear more offspring. There are various hypotheses relating the rapid evolution of mouse lemur species to this sperm competition.

Species Edit

  • Genus Microcebus: mouse lemurs
    • Gray mouse lemur, Microcebus murinus
    • Reddish-gray mouse lemur, M. griseorufus
    • Golden-brown mouse lemur, M. ravelobensis
    • Northern rufous mouse lemur, M. tavaratra
    • Sambirano mouse lemur, M. sambiranensis
    • Simmons' mouse lemur, M. simmonsi
    • Pygmy mouse lemur, M. myoxinus
    • Brown mouse lemur, M. rufus
    • Madame Berthe's mouse lemur, M. berthae
    • Goodman's mouse lemur, M. lehilahytsara
    • Jolly's mouse lemur, M. jollyae
    • MacArthur's mouse lemur, M. macarthurii
    • Mittermeier's mouse lemur, M. mittermeieri
    • Claire's mouse lemur, M. mamiratra, synonymous to M. lokobensis
    • Bongolava mouse lemur M. bongolavensis
    • Danfoss' mouse lemur M. danfossi
    • Arnhold's mouse lemur, M. arnholdi
    • Margot Marsh's mouse lemur, M. margotmarshae
    • Gerp's mouse lemur. M. gerpi
    • Anosy mouse lemur. M. tanosi
    • Marohita mouse lemur. M. marohita
    • Ganzhorn's mouse lemur. M. ganzhorni
    • Microcebus boraha
    • Microcebus manitatra

Gallery Edit

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