Three Mouse Lemurs Described
German scientists have spent the last three years examining three new mouse lemurs, and have finally published descriptions. From Spiegel Online:
"Three years have passed since three new species of mouse lemur -- mircocebus bongolavensis, microcebus danfossi and microcebus lokobensis were discovered by German scientists in the forests of Madagascar. Nevertheless, a lot of time can pass before an animal species is officially "baptized" with a scientific name. The road to obtaining an official Latin name is a long one -- filled with pitfalls and hurdles that involve a painstaking research process into the new species that ends with a peer-reviewed study published in a scientific journal. Only after other scientists review the research, corrections are made and it is successfully defended can the scientific baptism finally be completed.
"Three species of mouse lemurs have now put this procedure behind them and they are officially the newest species of the primate world. Working together with colleagues in Madagascar, scientists at the Institute for Zoology at the University of Veterinary Medicine (TiHo) in Hanover, Germany discovered and classified the animals. The results of their research will be published in the forthcoming issue of the journal Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution." ...
"For the lay person, these newly discovered species don't look all that different from other species. At first glance they all look the same. Because they live in the dark in the forest's think canopies, they lack the need to be visibly distinctive. This meant that the researchers had to inspect them very closely. First they discovered an animal whose tail was two centimeters longer than those of the others. But those are human problems: The mouse lemurs make it a bit easier for members of their own species: they can be recognised by their scent or cries -- at frequency levels that no person can hear." ...
"Kappeler belongs to a working group that has spent three years studying the dispersal of five specific lemur species in the rain forests of east Madagascar. He estimates that up to now only around half of all the species of lemur on the island have been discovered and named. And more new species will likely be announced in the coming year."
[Full news posted to StrangeArk archive.]