Saturday, February 23, 2008
Madagascar is one of the world's zoological treasure houses, an altogether fascinating museum of natural history. One of its prize exhibits is the lemur family, a group known to exist nowhere else. Now three new species have been identified. All belong to the palm-sized tribe known as the mouse lemurs. The new species Microcebus mittermeieri, Microcebus simmonsi, and Microcebus jollyae are all named for scientists or conservationists. There were once thought to be only two species of mouse lemurs, but researchers like Mireya Mayor, who co-authored the paper announcing the new species, think there might be as many as 16.