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Three New Lemurs

Posted by: Loren Coleman on June 21st, 2006

Three New Lemurs Named in Madagascar
Conservation International
June 21, 2006

To recognize an internationally renowned primatologist and champion of Madagascar’s unique biodiversity, scientists who discovered three new species of mouse lemur on the island nation have named one in honor of Russell A. Mittermeier, the president of Conservation International.

Mittermeier, the longtime chair of the IUCN Primate Special Group, is an expert on Madagascar and its lemurs, the distinctive primates found nowhere else on Earth. He is the lead author of “Lemurs of Madagascar,” a comprehensive field guide on the country’s flagship species.

His efforts inspired researcher Mireya Mayor to shift her scientific focus to Madagascar, and she was part of the team that discovered the three new mouse lemurs that were officially named in a paper published in June by the International Journal of Primatology. One of the new species is named Microcebus mittermeieri, or Mittermeier’s Mouse Lemur.

The other two named in the paper are Microcebus jollyae (Jolly’s Mouse Lemur), for Alison Jolly, a pioneering lemur researcher from Princeton University, and Microcebus simmonsi (Simmons’ Mouse Lemur), for Dr. Lee Simmons, director of the Omaha Henry Doorly Zoo in Nebraska.

New Lemur

Mireya Mayor with a mouse lemur. Photo Credit: Mark Thiessen/National Geographic Society.

New Lemur

Mayor’s first research grant came from Mittermeier, and the discoveries by Mayor, Dr. Edward Louis and their Malagasy team occurred shortly before Madagascar President Marc Ravalomanana declared his visionary conservation policy in 2003 to triple Madagascar’s protected areas – including vital lemur habitat.

“I consider it a great honor to have a primate species named after me, and, given my life-long interest in Madagascar, I am especially pleased that it is a lemur. Other scientific discoveries come and go, but a new species becomes a permanent part of the scientific record, and will be with us forever,” Mittermeier said. “I am also delighted that this species is found in one of the highest priority areas for conservation in Madagascar, and that its discovery provides yet another justification for protecting the important Anjanaharibe-Sud Reserve.”

Mayor, a Fulbright scholar, National Geographic correspondent and former Miami Dolphins cheerleader, went to Madagascar after reading an article in a magazine about Mittermeier and his work with lemurs. The lemur that now bears Mittermeier’s name was discovered by Mayor and her colleagues on an expedition to study another lemur, the Critically Endangered silky sifaka. Mouse lemurs are the smallest primates in the world, and the newest discoveries join the family of primates that represent Madagascar internationally.

“Finding an entirely new species of lemur living in the wild in the 21st Century shows how little we know about our natural world, and how important it is to protect it,” Mayor said. “This tiny creature has become a huge ambassador for all things wild in Madagascar, and that is truly remarkable.”

Source: News release from Conservation International.

About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013.


9 Responses to “Three New Lemurs”

  1. larzker responds:

    Great story. The facial features on the mouse lemur in the photos make it look like a baby mouse lemur unless they are that cute as adults.

  2. Lesley responds:

    That is sooooooooooooo cute!

  3. twblack responds:

    Another find in the wild how about that! And yes you have to admit the little bugger is cute. Makes you think what will we find next out in the wild I hope the big fellow myself right here in our own back yard so to speak anyway.

  4. H_Wrabbit responds:

    I like to move it move it.

  5. springheeledjack responds:

    It’s time for our daily cynical pot-shot…if they found new species in Madagascar…then of course there is NO way there could be bipedal things wandering the vast waste lands of North America (and a double dozen other places) nor (dare I say it) large 20+ foot long creatures swimming in the oceans, seas and lakes of the world…because we simply have explored the earth and such things cannot exist.

  6. fredfacker responds:

    I remember seeing the special on National Geographic Channel about Mayor discovering that first unknown mouse lemur. I just remember thinking that I DEFINITELY wouldn’t mind having her along on one of my expeditions.

  7. One Eyed Cat responds:

    The Mouse lemur in the second photo seems to have quite an opinion about cameras and people

  8. SaruOtoko responds:

    I want one. Hands down, I want that Lemur!! He’d be my Bigfoot Huntin’ pal!

    “Lemur! Quick! Attach this thermal lense to the branch!”

    It could be done. ::nod nod::

  9. coolbug responds:

    I agree with Lesley it’s cute



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