Mouse Lemur

The Facts

  • Genus: Microcebus.There are eight species of Mouse Lemurs. 
  • Conservation Status: Endangered
  • Location: Madagascar

Mouse Lemur
Mouse Lemur

The Scoop

Small Size, Huge Eyes

The mouse lemur is named after its size and appearance that resembles a mouse. These lemurs are found only on the island of Madagascar in native tropical woodlands and forests. They spend most of their lives nesting in the trees. They are nocturnal animals and emerge after dark when they are able to forage in the surrounding forest for food. They have huge eyes that have a shiny layer behind the retina which reflects light back through the eye. This makes it easy for them to see even at night.

The mouse lemur is really small- only between 2.25 and 4.75 inches in length. Mouse lemurs hunt and feed on insects both in the trees and on the ground. Fruits, nuts, berries, shoots and small rodents make up the rest of their diet. Mouse lemurs store fat in their tails and hind legs, burning it when food is scarce. The main threat to the mouse lemur is deforestation. Mouse lemurs are protected from hunting, but they are still captured by humans.

 

Did You Know?

  • The Latin word ‘lemurs’ means "ghost", and lemurs were given this name because  they come out only at night and have an eerie stare.
  • All mouse lemurs have a white color strip between the eyes and an orangey black head and tail.
  • The two big enemies of the mouse lemur are the barn owl and the Madagascar tree boa. 
  • Female lemurs give birth to 3 babies and take care of them until they are big enough to look after themselves.

 

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