Scientific name: Microcebus
Life expectancy: Average of 8 years in the wild
Gestation period: 62 days
Lifestyle and Location:
- These lemurs, that are endemic to Madagascar are nocturnal and live in the forests, especially down the west coast.
- They are omnivorous and eat things, such as, insect secretions, small vertebrates, fruits and flowers.
- The females sleep right through the dry season from April – September.
- They will only stay in their nest for about 5 days because after that their odour becomes too strong and predators will easily be able to find them.
Their body and tail together are around 27 cm but without the tail they are only 8.6-12.9. Both males and females weigh between 30.6 and 71.1 grams. The fur colour varies with species, however, most are a reddish brown colour and all have a white stripe between the eyes. It can be very hard to tell species apart just by looking at them as lots of species are only different by minor body measurements or genetic differences.
- There are 24 known species of mouse lemurs now but in 1992 there was only thought to be 2 species.
- Madame Berthe’s mouse lemur is the smallest primate and have a brain weighing only 2 grams.
- The mouse lemurs store fats in their tails and hind legs for the times when food is rare, they can store up to 35% of their body weight.
- In the dry season the males often eat insect secretion which is just gross.
- The females only mate on one day in the year so the males get very competitive on this day and their genitals can enlarge to 30% what they usually are.