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The mouse lemurs are nocturnal lemurs of the genus Microcebus. Like all lemurs, mouse lemurs are native to Madagascar.[4]

Mouse lemurs
Microcebus myoxinus.jpg
Pygmy mouse lemur (M. myoxinus)
CITES Appendix I (CITES)[2]
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Primates
Suborder: Strepsirrhini
Family: Cheirogaleidae
Genus: Microcebus
É. Geoffroy, 1834[1]
Diversity
About 24 species
Microcebus range map.svg
Combined distribution of Microcebus[3]
Synonyms[1][4]
  • Murilemur Gray, 1870
  • Scartes Swainson, 1835
  • Myscebus Lesson, 1840
  • Azema Gray, 1870
  • Gliscebus Lesson, 1840
  • Myocebus Wagner, 1841

Mouse lemurs have a combined head, body and tail length of less than 27 centimetres (11 in), making them the smallest primates[5] (the smallest species being Madame Berthe's mouse lemur); however, their weight fluctuates in response to daylight duration.[6] Lemurs and Mouse Lemurs were announced by the IUCN as the most endangered of all vertebrates. There were 2 known mouse lemur species in 1992; by 2016, there were 24. [7] 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.[citation needed]

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

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.[citation needed]

Mouse lemurs have the smallest known brain of any primate, at just 0.004 pounds (2 grams).[8]

As written in Genetics, mouse lemurs help to provide a more extensive understanding of the biology, behavior, and health of primates. Due to their fascinating genetic similarities to both humans and mice, mouse lemurs are categorized as prosimian primates. They are among the smallest and most rapidly developing primates and are becoming more abundant in Madagascar and around the world. These tiny creatures are helping to prove valuable information about the biology and evolution of primates through the analysis of their phenotypes and mutations. [9]

Contents

Reproduction and evolutionEdit

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.[10] In sexually inactive females the vulva is sealed, during the reproductive cycle the vulva is open. The vaginal morphology is also based on the time of day.[11]

SpeciesEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b McKenna, MC; Bell, SK (1997). Classification of Mammals: Above the Species Level. Columbia University Press. p. 335. ISBN 978-0-231-11013-6.
  2. ^ "Checklist of CITES Species". CITES. UNEP-WCMC. Retrieved 18 March 2015.
  3. ^ "IUCN 2014". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. International Union for Conservation of Nature. 2012. Retrieved 12 March 2015.
  4. ^ a b Groves, C.P. (2005). "Microcebus". In Wilson, D.E.; Reeder, D.M. (eds.). Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed.). Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. ISBN 0-801-88221-4. OCLC 62265494.
  5. ^ "Primate Factsheets: Mouse lemur (Microcebus) Taxonomy, Morphology, & Ecology". wisc.edu.
  6. ^ Andrès, M; Gachot-Neveu, H; Perret, M (2001). "Genetic determination of paternity in captive grey mouse lemurs: pre-copulatory sexual competition rather than sperm competition in a nocturnal prosimian?". Behaviour. 138 (8): 1047–63. doi:10.1163/156853901753286560.
  7. ^ "Yoder Lab - Research". duke.edu.
  8. ^ http://news.softpedia.com/news/Top-10-Brains-83944.shtml
  9. ^ Ezran, Camille; Karanewsky, Caitlin J.; Pendleton, Joseph L.; Sholtz, Alex; Kransnow, Maya R.; Willick, Jason; Razafindrakoto, Andriamahery; Zohdy, Sarah; Albertelli, Megan A. (June 2017). Mark A. Krasnow also contributed as a writer. "The Mouse Lemur, a Genetic Model Organism for Primate Biology, Behavior, and Health". Genetics. 206 (2): 651–664. doi:10.1534/genetics.116.199448. PMID 28592502.
  10. ^ Folia Primatol (Basel). 2003 Sep-Dec;74(5-6):355-66. Mating system in mouse lemurs: theories and facts, using analysis of paternity. Andrès M1, Solignac M, Perret M.
  11. ^ Rina Evasoa, Mamy; Radespiel, Ute; Hasiniaina, Alida F.; Rasoloharijaona, Solofonirina; Randrianambinina, Blanchard; Rakotondravony, Romule; Zimmermann, Elke (2018-05-16). "Variation in reproduction of the smallest-bodied primate radiation, the mouse lemurs (Microcebus spp.): A synopsis". American Journal of Primatology. 80 (7): e22874. doi:10.1002/ajp.22874. ISSN 0275-2565.
  12. ^ Mittermeier, Russell A.; Ganzhorn, Jörg U.; Konstant, William R.; Glander, Kenneth; Tattersall, Ian; Groves, Colin P.; Rylands, Anthony B.; Hapke, Andreas; Ratsimbazafy, Jonah; Mayor, Mireya I.; Louis, Edward E.; Rumpler, Yves; Schwitzer, Christoph; Rasoloarison, Rodin M. (December 2008). "Lemur Diversity in Madagascar". International Journal of Primatology. 29 (6): 1607–1656. doi:10.1007/s10764-008-9317-y. hdl:10161/6237.
  13. ^ "New Primate Species Discovered on Madagascar".
  14. ^ a b c "Nature News: Lemur boom on Madagascar". Nature. 2006-11-20. Retrieved 2007-12-10.
  15. ^ a b "Revision of the Mouse Lerst5 = R." (PDF). Primate Conservation. 23: 19–38. 2008. doi:10.1896/052.023.0103. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2009-02-05.
  16. ^ Radespiel, U.; Ratsimbazafy, J. H.; Rasoloharijaona, S.; Raveloson, H.; Andriaholinirina, N.; Rakotondravony, R.; Randrianarison, R. M.; Randrianambinina, B. (2011). "First indications of a highland specialist among mouse lemurs (Microcebus spp.) and evidence for a new mouse lemur species from eastern Madagascar". Primates. 53 (2): 157–170. doi:10.1007/s10329-011-0290-2. PMID 22198090.
  17. ^ a b Rasoloarison, Rodin M.; Weisrock, David W.; Yoder, Anne D.; Rakotondravony, Daniel; Kappeler, Peter M. (2013). "Two New Species of Mouse Lemurs (Cheirogaleidae: Microcebus) from Eastern Madagascar". International Journal of Primatology. 34 (3): 1–15. doi:10.1007/s10764-013-9672-1.
  18. ^ a b Pappas, Stephanie (26 March 2013). "Tiny Lemur Twins Are 2 New Species". LiveScience.
  19. ^ a b c Scott Hotaling; Mary E. Foley; Nicolette M. Lawrence; Jose Bocanegra; Marina B. Blanco; Rodin Rasoloarison; Peter M. Kappeler; Meredith A. Barrett; Anne D. Yoder; David W. Weisrock (2016). "Species discovery and validation in a cryptic radiation of endangered primates: coalescent-based species delimitation in Madagascar's mouse lemurs". Molecular Ecology. 25 (9): 2029–2045. doi:10.1111/mec.13604. PMID 26946180.

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