Other Free Encyclopedias » Animal Life Resource » Mammals » Dwarf Lemurs and Mouse Lemurs: Cheirogaleidae - Physical Characteristics, Diet, Behavior And Reproduction, Conservation Status, Red Mouse Lemur (microcebus Rufus): Species Account - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, DWARF AND MOUSE LEMURS AND PEOPLE

Dwarf Lemurs and Mouse Lemurs: Cheirogaleidae - Behavior And Reproduction

mating males female nests

Dwarf and mouse lemurs are nocturnal, or active at night. They search for food by themselves, usually in the smaller branches of trees and shrubs.

Dwarf and mouse lemurs are quite social. They have group nests, which they share during the day. The nests can be within tree hollows or tree branches. Five of the little fat-tailed dwarf lemurs may share a tree hole. Mouse lemur nests may have two to nine residents. These nests may have female dwellers, with the males nesting alone or in pairs, or both male and female dwellers. Dwarf lemurs have male-only or female-only nests. Communication is with scent and a variety of calls. Calls include those for keeping contact, mating, alarm, and distress.

Mouse and dwarf lemurs usually travel along branches on all four legs, leaping at times. They can use their tail for balance. Some species can take long leaps from one branch to another. A gray mouse lemur may also move on the ground with froglike hops. Each species, or type, of dwarf or mouse lemur marks its trail with scent while traveling. These markings, deposited by scent or smell glands, or from urine, give information about the traveler's age, sex, and whether it is ready for mating.

MATING COMPETITION

Female mouse lemurs are all ready to mate at one time. Male mouse lemurs can defend only one female at a time. So it's very difficult to keep a group of females all to themselves for mating. Rather than do a lot of fighting, dominant males have a way to put other males out of action. The urine of stronger male mouse lemurs contains chemicals producing a smell that makes weaker males sterile, or unable to reproduce. In addition, these weaker males can't even make the special trills, or calls, used to attract females for mating.

After mating, mouse and dwarf lemur females have a two- to three-month pregnancy, depending on species. They may have one to three infants each birth. Births usually take place during the rainy season, when food is plentiful. The smaller mouse lemur infants weigh about 0.175 ounces (5 grams) each. The larger Coquerel's mouse lemur infants can have a birth weight of 0.42 ounces (12 grams) each. Mouse and dwarf lemur infants are raised in a nest made of twigs and leaves.

Dwarf Lemurs and Mouse Lemurs: Cheirogaleidae - Conservation Status [next] [back] Dwarf Lemurs and Mouse Lemurs: Cheirogaleidae - Diet

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