Researchers United States, Germany, and Madagascar has recently discovered two new species of mouse lemur (mouse lemurs) in Madagascar forest. With this discovery, the number of species of mouse lemur found increased to 20 species.

Based on information reported by AFP on Tuesday (03/26/2013) yesterday, two species of lemurs are Microcebus marohita and Microcebus tanosi. Lemurs are primates family members, such as monkeys, apes, including humans.

The morphology of these two animals are quite similar to other types of mouse lemur. This makes the researcher takes a relatively long time to prove that they are different species.

Two species have long been found in Madagascar. For 10 years, the team seeks to uncover the mysteries of the species through DNA comparison, weight and body length, skull shape and size of the teeth, and hair color.

M marohita name given to the type of brown mouse lemur with relatively large hind legs but has small ears. Name based on the name of the location where the lemur was first discovered, Marohita forest.

The species has a body length from tip of nose to base of tail 13.5 cm long and weighs 78 grams body. When coupled with a thick tail, a total length of 28 cm. It makes him crowned as the longest mouse lemur.

Relatives marohita M, ie M tanosi, was first discovered in the area in southeastern Madagascar Anosy in 2007. This animal has a characteristic morphology of head reddish brown hair that covered her body.

M tanosi body length from the tip of nose to tip of tail 27 cm and weighs only 51 grams body. The belly of a brighter color than the head. While this mouse lemur also has stripes along the spine.

Although newly discovered, the animal can be considered endangered. Marohita forest conditions have now suffered serious fragmentation and destruction. Researchers attempt to insert the species in the Red List of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

"Field studies and regional surveys are needed to determine the geographical distribution and population status of the two types of the new mouse lemur terdeskripsi so that appropriate conservation measures can be applied to animals," said the researchers in a publication in the International Journal of Primatology. One of the researchers involved are Peter Kappeler of the German Primate Center in Goettingen.

IUCN said that the lemurs in Madagascar, including the most endangered species. As many as 91 percent of the 100 species and subspecies unique in Madagascar threatened with extinction.

The threat posed by deforestation and poaching are rife in the country. Unstable political situation since the coup in 2009, a factor that supports deforestation. For two decades the country has lost 11 million hectares of forest cover.

Sources:
AFP
 


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