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Giant mouse lemur: Wikis

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Giant mouse lemurs
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Primates
Family: Cheirogaleidae
Genus: Mirza
Gray, 1870
Type species
Cheirogaleus coquereli
A. Grandidier, 1867
Species

Mirza coquereli
Mirza zaza

The giant mouse lemurs are two small lemur species (genus Mirza) native to the western deciduous forests of Madagascar, usually located near the coast or other sources of water. They are an olive-brown colour dorsally, and are yellowish-grey ventrally. Originally the genus was described as a single species, Coquerel's Giant Mouse Lemur Mirza coquereli (named after the French entomologist Charles Coquerel), when this species was separated from the genus Microcebus in 1985. However, in 2005 a second species, Northern Giant Mouse Lemur M. zaza, was described.

Giant mouse lemurs weigh about 300 grams (11 oz). They are nocturnal, and they are active throughout the year; unlike other mouse-lemurs they do not hibernate, and instead they feed on homopteran larvae to sustain themselves. They are an arboreal species, and feed on fruit, flowers, and small animals like insects and spiders. They have also been known to prey on the Pygmy Mouse Lemur (Microcebus myoxinus) in captivity. They build multiple nests both in the wild and in captivity; males sleep alone while females often sleep in pairs. They travel quadrupedally, and have limited leaping capabilities.

These lemurs are heavily preyed upon by owls, as well as the Madagascar Buzzard (Buteo brachypterus). They feed at night to avoid predation, and they communicate with each other by both acoustic and olfactory signals, as well as ultrasound.

References

  • Pages, E. 1980. Ethoecology of Microcebus coquereli during the dry season. In Nocturnal Malagasy Primates: Ecology, Physiology, and Behavior. eds. P. Charles-Dominique, H.M. Cooper, A. Hladik, C.M. Hladik, E. Pages, G.F. Pariente, A. Petter-Rousseaux, and A. Schilling. Academic Press: New York.

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