Gray Mouse Lemur Facts
- The Gray Mouse Lemur has something in common with homo sapiens, but it is something quite regrettable, however.
- Researchers trekking through the forests of western Madagascar found something rather disturbing.
- While looking for a radio-tagged female of the species (Microcebus murinus) they found a single male dining on her flesh (photo above).
- The cause of the female’s death remains a mystery since all of her vital organs were missing at the time of the discovery.
- The Gray Mouse Lemur was not previously known to eat other mammals, much less practice cannibalism.
Gray Mouse Lemur Physical Description and Behavior
Weighing 58 to 67 grams (2.0 to 2.4 oz), the astonishing Gray Mouse Lemur ranks as the largest of the mouse lemurs, a group that includes the smallest primates in the world.
At the very least, the menu of this creature, one of the world’s smallest primate species, is much larger than previously assumed.
Furthermore, the Gray Mouse Lemur, or lesser mouse lemur, represents a small lemur, a type of strepsirrhine primate.
The findings of a report appeared in an issue of the American Journal of Primatology, suggesting that nonhuman primate cannibalism extends further than just to infants and juveniles.
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Chordata
- Class: Mammalia
- Order: Primates
- Family: Cheirogaleidae
- Genus: Microcebus
- Species: M. murinus
Gray Mouse Lemur Mysteriousness
The Gray Mouse Lemur derived its name from its mouse-like size and coloration and remains known locally (in Malagasy) as tsidy, koitsiky, titilivaha, pondiky, and vakiandry.
Biologists also consider the animal and all other mouse lemurs a cryptic type of animal. This occurs because it remains nearly indistinguishable from related species by appearance.
For this reason, the Gray Mouse Lemur was considered the only mouse lemur species for decades until more recent studies began to distinguish between the species.
Although we knew cannibalism existed in the species, all known victims of such activities included either infants or juveniles.
A variety of primates, including chimpanzees, bonobos, orangutans, several monkeys, and perhaps even gorillas (and humans), also practice the act.